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Michigan Football Program Gets Third Year Of Probation

Michigan’s football program was hit with an additional year of probation by the NCAA on Thursday, ending the year-long investigation.

The NCAA gave Michigan a third year of probation and withdrew the charge that head coach Rich Rodriguez failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance, the only charge the school contested in the hearings.

Paul Dee, chairman of the committee on infractions, said the committee decided that Rodriguez’s failings were better described by the “failure to monitor” charge because no head coach is “involved with all of the activities that occur,” which lead to an NCAA finding of violations, but they must accept responsibility, nonetheless, because they are “captain of the ship.”

Rodriguez will be forced to attend the 2011 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar due to his failure to monitor the team.

Michigan announced in May that they would reduce training time by 130 hours over the next two years and placed the program on a two-year probation period. The NCAA ruling makes that a three-year probation, beginning Nov. 4, 2010 and ending Nov. 3, 2013.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said there were no surprises in the report and the school will not appeal (VIDEO: Dave Brandon’s comments on the NCAA ruling).

Although the NCAA said the university was a “repeat violator” because of the 2003 basketball scandal that crippled that sport at Michigan, no enhanced sanctions were issued this time around. The committee said that 2003 was much worse, while most of the accusations this time around were technical in nature.

“We took responsibility for what happened from the beginning and cooperated fully with the NCAA,” said Brandon. “We acknowledged mistakes that put us in this position and immediately corrected those mistakes by implementing process improvements. We were transparent, direct and we fixed the problems. We are going to continue to work hard every day and do everything we can to ensure this does not happen again.”

This lifts a major cloud that has been hanging over the team for the past year or so. With this out of the way, Rodriguez can return to his main priority of putting the Wolverines back on the winning track.