University President Mary Sue Coleman has broken her silence concerning allegations that Michigan’s football program violated NCAA rules. In a statement released late Wednesday, Coleman wrote that University officials will not act until all facts in the situation have come to light.

“It is critical that a thorough and objective investigation is completed before any conclusions are drawn,” she wrote in the statement.

Coleman wrote that she launched an investigation into the allegations upon first hearing of them.

“With the help of outside counsel, we are working in cooperation with the NCAA to discover and assess the facts of the situation,” she wrote.

She added that the University’s Board of Regents “is fully informed on the matter.”

When the investigation is complete, Coleman wrote that the school “will then determine what – if any – actions need to occur to ensure full compliance with NCAA rules and our own rules of conduct.”

Coleman’s voice had heretofore been absent from the debate that has flared up after a Detroit Free Press article published Sunday cited unnamed current and former players as saying that the practice and conditioning regiment implemented by head football coach Rich Rodriguez violated NCAA rules.

In Wednesday night’s statement, Coleman stressed that the University places “the highest importance on the welfare of our student-athletes and the integrity of our intercollegiate athletics program.”

She cited the University’s reputation as a place of “academic and athletic excellence,” an accolade she says officials “work to achieve every day.”

“I am proud of our unwavering commitment to that standard,” she wrote.

Before today, Coleman had drawn criticism for not speaking out on the issue. In Tuesday’s edition of the Free Press, the paper’s editorial board wrote that “U-M President Mary Sue Coleman has been inappropriately silent about all this for too long.”

Full text of President Coleman’s statement:

At the University of Michigan, we place the highest importance on the welfare of our student-athletes and the integrity of our intercollegiate athletics program. Our university is widely recognized for academic and athletic excellence, and it’s something we work to achieve every day. I am proud of our unwavering commitment to that standard.

As soon as the allegations surfaced about our athletic program, I launched an investigation. Our Board of Regents is fully informed on the matter. With the help of outside counsel, we are working in cooperation with the NCAA to discover and assess the facts of the situation.

It is critical that a thorough and objective investigation is completed before any conclusions are drawn. We will then determine what – if any – actions need to occur to ensure full compliance with NCAA rules and our own rules of conduct.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.