Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NCAA Committee on Infractions rules on football case

The NCAA Committee on Infractions announced today that it has accepted the self-imposed sanctions initiated by U-M during the NCAA Response on May 25, and added an additional year of probation for the football program. The university contested two allegations, and the NCAA report was favorable in each instance.

Coach Rich Rodriguez answers a question, as President Mary Sue Coleman looks on, during a press conference to announce the NCAA's ruling in the U-M football case. (Photo by Scott Galvin, Photo Services) 

“There were no surprises and there will be no appeal, because there is nothing to appeal,” said Athletic Director Dave Brandon. “Effective today, this process is over and done and we can focus all of our time and energy on the future.”

The NCAA cleared Coach Rich Rodriguez of the charge of failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Throughout this process the university disputed this allegation.

The university also did not believe it should receive extra sanctions for being a repeat violator, and the NCAA agreed.

“We took responsibility for what happened from the beginning and cooperated fully with the NCAA,” said Brandon. “We acknowledged mistakes that put us in this position and immediately corrected those mistakes by implementing process improvements. We were transparent, direct and we fixed the problems. We are going to continue to work hard every day and do everything we can to ensure this does not happen again.”

The university was found to have violated certain rules pertaining to practice time and coaching limits, which resulted in findings of failure to monitor on the part of the university and the coach. The university had acknowledged these violations in its May response to the NCAA.

In its report, the committee noted that the violations of daily and weekly countable hour rules, primarily a result of a misinterpretation of the rules regarding stretching and warm-up time at the beginning of practices and workouts, were far less extensive than originally reported.



Following is a timeline of events surrounding the university’s case:

Oct. 26, 2009 — U-M receives Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA

Feb. 23, 2010 — U-M receives Notice of Allegations from the NCAA

May 25, 2010 — U-M submits its response to the NCAA allegation

Aug. 14, 2010 — U-M administration meets with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in Seattle


Following are the penalties handed down by the NCAA:

• Public reprimand and censure

• Michigan was put on three years of probation (November 4, 2010, to November 3, 2013); added one year of probation to the two years of self-imposed sanctions.

• The Committee on Infractions did not find that Rodriguez did not promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program. Rodriguez is required to attend the 2011 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.

• The institution estimated its football program exceeded the CARA limits in 2008 and 2009 by 65 hours, and reductions in practice and training times on a 2:1 basis, for a total of 130 hours during the next two years. The NCAA accepted Michigan’s self-imposed sanctions.

Following are the additional self-imposed sanctions by Michigan that the NCAA also found to be appropriate and acceptable:

• U-M exceeded the limit on the number of coaches allowed. As a result, the institution reduced the number of quality control staff members by 40 percent and prohibited them from attending practices, games and coaches meetings for the entire 2010 season. Even though the NCAA has adopted a new bylaw that allows non-coaching, sport-specific staff to attend coaches meetings, U-M will not allow its quality control staff to take advantage of the new bylaw until 2011.

• U-M issued letters of reprimand to seven individuals who shared in the responsibility for these violations occurring over an extended period, and one dismissal has occurred as a result of an issue of integrity.

President Mary Sue Coleman said the university is satisfied with the sanctions handed down by the NCAA and believes the penalties are appropriate for the violations.

“The University of Michigan is very proud of its athletic and academic excellence, as well as its athletics compliance record,” Coleman said. “We are focused on the future and our continued commitment to integrity and excellence.”

Rodriguez noted he is “glad this process has come to a close now that the report has been released. I’m pleased our assessment was in sync with the NCAA. I have always maintained an open relationship with our compliance staff and athletic administrators at every stage of my coaching career and will continue to do so.”