Report: Investigation at West Virginia centers on Rich Rod

You have to tip your cap to Rich Rodriguez. There are not many college football coaches who can negatively affect two programs simultaneously.

But that’s exactly what could be happening as the NCAA investigation surrounding potential rules violations in the West Virginia football program reportedly are centered on the former Mountaineers and current Michigan head coach.

If reports are true, this would mark the second investigation currently being undertaken by the NCAA involving Rodriguez. The Wolverines are alleged to have violated NCAA rules regarding the amount of time players spent on football-related activities.

West Virginia's assistant athletics director for communications, Michael Fragale, issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the investigation but would not comment on the specifics:

“The NCAA has met with individuals involved with the West Virginia football program to identify any potential rules violations,” the statement said. “The university has fully cooperated with the NCAA during this process. West Virginia University and its department of intercollegiate athletics is committed to operating its athletics department in conformance with the legislation and policies of the NCAA and the Big East Conference.”

Rodriguez coached at West Virginia, his alma mater, from 2001-2007 before leaving to replace Lloyd Carr at Michigan. He went 60-26 in Morgantown and took the Mountaineers to two BCS bowl games.

He is just 8-16 in his two seasons in Ann Arbor and will now enter a must-win third year certainly with one more distraction.

During a February news conference in which the NCAA charges were announced, new Michigan athletics director David Brandon expressed support for Rodriguez. But as a struggling head coach, it’s certainly never an easy situation when a new AD comes aboard, and another stain on Rich Rod’s resume will make things even tenser in Ann Arbor in 2010.

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