Come on, compliance, WTF:
University of Michigan football coaches failed to file the required monthly logs that track how much its players work out and practice, according to an internal audit released today.
The details: according to a university-released report—hey, look, a hyperlink to the primary source so the reader can click through and make his own judgment of the facts—as of May Michigan had not filed the internal paperwork (called CARA) that covers the countable hours for the 2008 season.
This is now fixed, but the report is unclear as to whether the reports have been retroactively submitted or not:
When detail on a concern identified in an audit needs to be provided to a department, a memorandum is sent so the issue can be addressed. In this instance, the audit and a memo went to the athletic department on July 24, 2009. The forms are now turned in on a timely basis. The audit does not identify where the system broke down and it did not identify any other areas of concern with respect to the football program.
The News tried to get a straight answer on that and got a "no comment." While this could be a legitimate inability to answer because of the investigation, it's probably an indication that the 2008 reports don't exist and can't be constructed retroactively for obvious reasons.
And the tail end of the Michigan report has a slightly defensive paragraph about what this all means (emphasis mine):
CARA forms were created by the U-M athletic compliance office and are one tool U-M uses to track athletic activities undertaken by student-athletes and ensure compliance to our own and NCAA rules and regulations. Other tools include regular monitoring and extensive educational programming for athletes, coaches and other personnel affiliated with the program.
It's not a response to anything. As the report makes clear, this was an issue that was internally flagged in May, months before the Free Press story, and officially addressed in June, weeks before that story.
In itself it doesn't mean much… The absence of these logs is not incriminating—they're an internal tool, not something the NCAA requires.
…but it opens the university up to punishment. Extant signed logs and forms, as people inside the program suggested were standard practice, would just about shut the door on anything except complaints from former players. If it's a bunch of he-said-she-said and since the NCAA isn't a court of law they could decide to hand down something. What is still entirely murky.
This does not look good if you're banking on your faith in compliance. If these logs existed they'd be a fantastic way to tell various folks to talk to the documentation. They don't, and whether that's an intentional omission on the part of a nefarious mastermind or mere incompetence on the part of a compliance department that didn't bother to inform the new guy that they had to do this paperwork it is a missed opportunity.
The last bit of the report at suggests that Michigan has some records disputing the allegations, but a compliance department truly on top of their crap would not have let these forms slide even for a year. If there is no paper trail indicating compliance outside of the CARA forms, someone needs to be fired and possibly branded with a scarlet NCAA.