NCAA Punishes Michigan Football for Exceeding Practice Limit

November 5, 2010

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Thursday penalized the University of Michigan for major violations involving its football program. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions placed the institution on three years' probation and backed Michigan's decision to reduce its football practice time by 130 hours over the next two years. The trouble for the Wolverines started when Rich Rodriguez became head football coach in January 2008. During his first year and a half at Michigan, Rodriguez’s team exceeded NCAA playing and practice limits — put in place to protect player safety and guaranteeing time for academics — by approximately 65 hours.

Football staff members “monitored and conducted voluntary summer workouts, conducted impermissible activities outside of the playing season, required student-athletes to participate in summer conditioning activities as a form of punishment, and exceeded time limits for athletic activities outside the playing season.” The football team also exceeded the number of NCAA allowed coaches by retaining “five quality control staff members,” who “were on the sidelines for practice and games, traveled with the team, wore the same attire as coaches, shared office space with the football staff and attended team meetings.” The NCAA determined that the institution and Rodriguez “failed to monitor” the football program and ensure that it was adhering to rules. In addition to the probation and practice restrictions for the institution, the only punishment for Rodriguez is that he must attend a NCAA rules seminar next year.

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