The NCAA is investigating potential rules violations regarding West Virginia University’s football program during the time that Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez was at the helm in Morgantown, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday.

A source familiar with the situation at West Virginia told that the allegations focus on Rodriguez, who coached at West Virginia from 2001 to 2008.

The news comes amid the NCAA’s current investigation of the University of Michigan football program concerning potential violations of NCAA rules and a source with knowledge of that probe told the Detroit Free Press yesterday that the investigation into WVU’s program is an offshoot of the investigation into Michigan’s football program.

University of Michigan officials announced on Feb. 23 that they received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, which charged the football program with violating regulations in five areas.

The notice alleged that the football program had violated rules regarding the number of coaches allowed to work with student-athletes and that the program violated rules regarding the maximum hours allotted for mandatory practice time.

In addition, the notice alleges that Rodriguez “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program.”

According to, West Virginia officials refused to comment on the specifics of the allegations against the Mountaineers, but they did acknowledge that the NCAA has met with and interviewed university officials.

“The NCAA has met with individuals involved with the West Virginia football program to identify any potential rules violations,” West Virginia officials said in the statement, according to multiple news outlets. “The university has fully cooperated with the NCAA during this process. West Virginia University and its department of intercollegiate athletics is committed to operating its athletics department in conformance with the legislation and policies of the NCAA and the Big East Conference.”

In an interview on Tuesday, NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn declined to comment on the status of the West Virginia investigation.

“We actually have a policy where we can’t comment on a current or pending investigation,” she said. “The school may choose to do so but we are not allowed to.”

Members of the media were not permitted to question Rodriguez about the news of the NCAA investigation at West Virginia during his press conference yesterday.

The following advisory has been distributed before each media session this spring:

“Rodriguez, staff and players are unable to comment on the ongoing NCAA process until it has been completed. Please do not ask questions or they will not be answered and we will move onto the next question. This will be in effect throughout the spring and into the fall.”

At the press conference Rodriguez said he’s been able to put aside off-field distractions and focus on football.

“It’s just been focusing on what we come here to do,” he said. “I think our players and our staff have really done a good job of staying focused on the things we need to do to take this program where we need to take it.

“If I ask that of our staff, and I ask that of our players, I certainly have to do that myself.”

University Athletic Director David Brandon reaffirmed that Rodriguez would continue to be the Michigan football coach in a release distributed yesterday.

“There is nothing new that would cause me to change my position,” he said in the release. “Rich will coach our team this fall.”

When University officials announced they had received the notice of allegations, Brandon said Rodriguez would stay on, regardless of the charges.

“Rich Rodriguez is our football coach,” Brandon said at the Feb. 23 press conference.

In yesterday’s release, Brandon directed all questions relating to the investigation to the NCAA.

“There is no new NCAA investigation involving The University of Michigan,” Brandon said in the release. “Any question regarding an NCAA query should be directed to the NCAA.”

As the head coach of the Mountaineers, Rodriguez compiled a 60-26 record and led West Virginia to two BCS bowl games. He left following the 2007 season — and before the team’s Fiesta Bowl appearance — to replace Lloyd Carr as the head coach at Michigan.

Rodriguez’s departure from the Mountaineers was controversial, to say the least, as West Virginia University sued him for a $4 million buyout. The lawsuit was eventually settled in the summer of 2008, when Michigan agreed to pay $2.5 million, and Rodriguez the remaining $1.5 million.

— Daily News Editor Jillian Berman contributed to this report.

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