In just two short years the Wolverines have turned a once dominant powerhouse program into a regular loser and now, it appears, a violator of multiple NCAA rules. How bad were the “mistakes” (as coach Rich “Shredder” Rodriguez calld them) made by the program? According to Michael Buckner, a Florida lawyer familiar with these kinds of infractions, “I find it hard to believe that coach Rodriguez would not know that what these coaches were doing was a violation. As a coach, you can’t turn a blind eye to what your staff is doing and plead innocent. So even if he didn’t directly know, he should have known.” Sounds to us like he’s either saying that the coach is stupid or a liar. Either way, some worry that given U of M’s past misdeeds in men’s basketball that the happy-go-lucky types at the NCAA might really slap the Maize and Blue around this time. No, we haven’t heard the term “death penalty” yet, but we can bet some guys in East Lansing and Columbus are on their knees praying right now.
At right, a picture of RichRod leaving the University of West Virginia. Or maybe that’s from right before the NCAA showed up to investigate Michigan. Hard to tell.
Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said Tuesday that his football program misinterpreted rules and made mistakes. The NCAA’s committee on infractions will have to determine whether Michigan simply made mistakes, or whether it systematically and intentionally violated the rules, a more serious breach. If the committee finds major violations, the most likely penalties are probation, a loss of scholarships and a loss of practice time, experts say, adding that a bowl ban also would be possible.
Experts say that if U-M is found to be a repeat violator — based on earlier violations by U-M’s basketball program — the NCAA infractions committee could break from precedent and impose even stiffer penalties.
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