Eleven Michigan coaches, including head football coach Rich Rodriguez and head basketball coach John Beilein, hold loans from Bank of Ann Arbor, a bank founded, chaired and partially owned by Athletic Director Bill Martin, according to a report published in The Detroit News today.
In all, the 11 coaches have more than $4 million in the bank.
Mortgages and lines of credit for Rodriguez and seven of his assistants total $3.3 million, according to the News.
In an interview, Martin told The Detroit News that he was not aware of the loans and that he never encouraged the coaches to borrow from Bank of Ann Arbor.
University Spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said the University does not keep tabs on where its employees do their private banking.
“The University has a vigorous conflict of interest policy in place,” he said, “and we’re quite confident of that.”
In The Detroit News article, George Lowenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and also an expert in conflicts of interest, called the coaches’ loans a “garden variety” conflict.
“In the scheme of conflicts of interest, this doesn’t seem that major,” Lowenstein said.