The NCAA has placed the University of Michigan on three years’ probation for major rules violations in its football program.
The Division I Committee on Infractions announced its decision in the closely watched case Thursday afternoon, when it released a 29-page report detailing the allegations—and sanctions—against head coach Rich Rodriguez’s football program. In addition to placing the institution on probation, the committee also upheld Michigan’s self-imposed penalty that would reduce the amount of practice time allotted to its football team through the end of the 2011-12 academic year.
In the report, the NCAA faulted Rodriguez for allowing his program to run afoul of the association’s rules in several areas, including the number of coaches he had on staff and the amount of practice time athletes were required take part in. The NCAA also said the head coach—as well as the athletic department at large—failed to monitor the football program, and directed Rodriguez to participate in an upcoming seminar about NCAA rules.
Allegations that Michigan’s football players were devoting far more time to practice and training in 2008 and 2009 than the 20 hours allowed per week attracted widespread attention when they first surfaced. The infractions committee noted that much of the additional time came from summer workouts that went beyond the prescribed limits of weight training, conditioning, or review of game film, and from strength and conditioning activities that coaching staff used as disciplinary measures for athletes who missed class.
The committee noted, however, that while the program’s violation of rules governing practice time were serious, they were far less extensive than originally reported.