Report: Michigan players allege NCAA violations
|In this Aug. 23, 2009 photo, Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez waits for his players to be seated for a team photo, during the school's annual football media day at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Players from the 2008 and 2009 teams told the Detroit Free Press for a story published on the newspaper's Web site on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009 that the amount of time they spend on football activities during the season and in the offseason greatly exceeds NCAA limits.|
DETROIT (AP) -- Several Michigan football players claim the program regularly violates NCAA rules limiting how much time they can spend on training and practice sessions, according to a published report.
Players from the 2008 and 2009 teams told the Detroit Free Press for a story published on the newspaper's Web site on Saturday that the amount of time they spend on football activities during the season and in the offseason greatly exceeds the limits. The players spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity because they feared repercussions from coaches.
Coach Rich Rodriguez and the university's compliance director, Judy Van Horn, both denied that the football program was violating NCAA rules.
"We know the practice and offseason rules, and we stay within the guidelines. We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules," Rodriguez said in a written statement to the newspaper.
Van Horn said her department conducts "in-person spot checks of practice during the academic year and summer. We have not had any reason to self-report any violations in this area with any of our sports."
NCAA rules allow eight hours a week for mandatory workouts during the offseason. However, players told the newspaper that they spent two to three times that amount on required workouts.
The players also said the amount of time they spent on football activities during the season exceeded the weekly limit of 20 hours and often exceeded the daily limit of four hours.
They also said quality-control staff often watched seven-on-seven offseason scrimmages that are supposed to be voluntary and that only training staff are allowed to attend.
The Free Press said five of the 10 current or former players it interviewed gave similar accounts of how the program is run and a sixth player confirmed most of the descriptions. Other players gave a general idea of the program. None disputed the allegations, the newspaper said.
The players acknowledged they had signed forms stating NCAA rules had been followed and had not told the university's compliance department about their concerns. One player told the Free Press that athletes would get in trouble if they didn't sign.