Michigan completes NCAA hearing on rules violation, now must wait for ruling

Jake Fromm/Daily
University President Mary Sue Coleman, Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez and incoming Athletic Director David Brandon announce that the University has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA on Feb. 22, 2010. Buy this photo

Daily Sports Editor
Published August 14, 2010

The ball is officially in the NCAA’s court now.

Representatives from the University of Michigan and Michigan athletic department presented their case and their self-imposed sanctions in front of the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Saturday in Seattle.

The next step is waiting to hear the committee’s decision. According to Michael Buckner, a Florida attorney and expert on such NCAA investigations, the decision could take up to three or four months.

Michigan’s self-imposed sanctions include: reducing the quality control staff from five members to three and preventing them from attending games, practices or coach’s meetings; a two-year probation period for the program; and docking 130 hours of practice time.

Saturday’s hearing lasted seven and a half hours, and Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez, Athletic Director David Brandon and University President Mary Sue Coleman were among the Wolverine contingent in Seattle.

“We feel that the committee gave us a full and fair hearing today,” Brandon said in a statement released after the hearing. “Our statements today were similar to those we provided the NCAA earlier this summer: We own the mistakes we have made, we fixed some process and communication problems that caused them, and we’re keeping a close eye on this so it doesn’t happen again.”

After the hearing, Rodriguez said he was “certainly glad this part of the process is over,” according to multiple reports. Rodriguez is currently a part of another NCAA investigation involving his tenure at West Virginia. The violations in both investigations are nearly identical.

The NCAA has accused Michigan of five major rules violations related to practices and workouts. School officials are challenging the allegation that Rodriguez failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and are accepting responsibility for the other four allegations (which involve exceeding practice and training time limits).

Since the NCAA sent its notice of allegations in February, Michigan says it has taken steps to improve accountability and keep the necessary paperwork up to date.

“I’m proud of the extra effort everyone has been putting into compliance these past several months,” Brandon said in the statement. “Rich and his staff – in coordination with the compliance group – have been working together to keep us on the right track.”

When asked when Michigan might hear its final verdict from the NCAA, Brandon told reporters in Seattle that he was given a wide range of times. In his statement, he said Michigan will not speculate about the outcome.

“We’re going to get back to Michigan now for the start of what we expect will be a great football season,” Brandon said.