Michigan Self Imposes NCAA Sanctions: What This Means for Rich Rodriguez

Drew GatewoodAnalyst IMay 25, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 24:  Head Coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines looks on while playing the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 24, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Penn State won the game 35-10.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan’s Head Coach, Rich Rodriguez, is beginning to feel some serious heat under his seat in Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan announced self-imposed sanctions today after coming forth with the initial findings back in late February.


Allegations of improper practice times, along with some quality control issues, arose, leading to an NCAA probe into the football program. “We take full responsibility for knowing and following NCAA rules,” President Mary Sue Coleman quoted during a press conference.


“We have made some mistakes as a program and we know that,” Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon said. He went on to say that Michigan is on the right track and is striding to make amends for any wrong doings it has had in the past.


Michigan found itself guilty of having too many coaches, and has reduced its quality control staff to adhere to NCAA guidelines. Michigan was also found guilty of practice and training times violations as well. The countable athletically related activities, or CARA, was in excess of 65 hours in 2008 and 2009. The reduction places the Michigan on a 2:1 ratio of practices to training times until 2012.


Rodriguez admitted that his staff made mistakes monitoring the allowable time, but the NCAA has implied that he encouraged this disobedience in his program. Michigan has disputed this with the NCAA, and showed its evidence to the contrary in a letter it submitted back to the investigation committee.


Michigan ’s football program has been less than mediocre since Rodriguez’s arrival. He has failed to lead Michigan to a winning season or a bowl appearance during his tenure in Ann Arbor. These sanctions fueled the fire of the boosters' campaign to remove the coach and take the football program in another direction.


Even with a successful season, which for Michigan would mean making a bowl game this year, Rodriguez may not be safe. The Michigan program is a proud one, and does not take to sanctions lightly. They have already had run-ins with the NCAA in the past, most recently with the basketball program in 2003.


Rich Rodriguez will once again navigate the Big Ten season attempting to get to that elusive sixth win for bowl eligibility. It may take that and a bowl win to keep his job, something that, up to this point, has been much easier said than done.