Michigan admits rules violations, self-imposes sanctions

Now that Michigan has admitted to violations in its football program, can the team focus completely on preparations for the 2010 season?

Surely, the NCAA will let the university know if it is completely satisfied with their self-imposed sanctions.

On Tuesday, the Wolverines owned up to a series of mistakes within the football offices regarding practice time and the acts of graduate assistants, but the school believes major punishment from the NCAA is unnecessary. The case will be looked at by the NCAA at a hearing in August.

The team’s self-imposed sanctions include:

- Beginning this summer, the reduction of practice and training time by 130 hours over the next two years.

- Trimming the number of assistants on the “quality control staff” from five to three and banning them from practices, games and coaching meetings for the rest of this year.

- A recommendation for two years of probation.

After the hearing in August, a final decision by the NCAA regarding penalties could take months.

“We're imposing on ourselves what we believe is corrective actions,” athletic director David Brandon told The Associated Press. “Ultimately, the NCAA will decide what the appropriate sanctions and penalties are.”

These violations stemmed from a report in the Detroit Free Press last fall, in which anonymous players said that head coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff were exceeding NCAA limits on practice and training time. The NCAA eventually outlined five potentially major rules violations and accused Rodriguez of not promoting an atmosphere of compliance in the program — a charge Brandon and the school has denied despite acknowledging poor overall performance in the athletic department.

Brandon didn’t believe that taking away scholarships was necessary because the admitted offenses did not create a competitive advantage for the program.

The Wolverines will be entering a make-or-break season for Rodriguez in the fall, as the former West Virginia head coach is just 8-16 in his two years in Ann Arbor.

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