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February 28, 2011 - 11:14pm

Brandon Graham: Rodriguez has one year left to start winning


INDIANAPOLIS — At the NFL Scouting Combine here, former Wolverine defensive end Brandon Graham offered his outlook for Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez following a second straight losing season and last week’s announcement that, following a four-month investigation, the NCAA is alleging that the program has violated five NCAA regulations.

“After the season, we said that, ‘you can’t be up for so long, eventually you have to pay taxes,’ ” Graham said on Saturday. “That’s how we look at it until we get it back up. That’s what we’re going to do. I hope them boys get right next year. Because coach (Rich Rodriguez has) only got one more year — if they don’t do (anything). Because of the allegations, and then, if you have a bad year, then you’ve got to get someone new.”

Graham’s junior and senior seasons didn’t go quite the same way as his first two years in maize and blue.

After a 3-9 junior campaign, Graham decided to return to school for his senior season, and Michigan finished 5-7. The Wolverines lost seven of their last eight games after starting 4-0.

Graham’s play didn’t slip, though, and he finished the season with 26 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He also won a share of the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football, which is awarded to the Big Ten’s MVP.

Graham and the rest of the defensive linemen will do the bench press Sunday and the on-field workouts on Monday in Indianapolis.

Incoming Athletic Director David Brandon backed Rodriguez after the news broke of the allegations.

“Rich Rodriguez is our football coach, and he will be our football coach,” Brandon said.