Item (m) under "non-countable" activities seems to be the key and should explain exactly why someone in Barwis' position is so important. He's part of the coaching staff but he also has department wide duties, so that's an obvious slam dunk easy answer. The problem with this whole thing is that the reporting has no idea what the NCAA rules are and did no work to educate himself on said rules. This is really an easy case and I would be shocked if anything comes of it.
Athletic Department Release On Practices
A brief statement from Martin and a couple we've already seen. Standard stuff.
Statement from Athletic Director Bill Martin We are committed to following both the letter and the intent of the NCAA rules and we take any allegations of violations seriously. We believe we have been compliant with NCAA rules but nonetheless we have launched a full investigation of the allegations in today’s newspaper. We have already reached out to both the Big Ten and the NCAA and we will have more to say on this as soon as we have completed our assessment.
August 28, 2009
Statements from U-M Football Coach Rich Rodriguez and Associate Athletic Director Judy Van Horn
U-M Head Coach Rich Rodriguez
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.
Associate Athletic Director Judy Van Horn
During the season, the NCAA limits “countable” practice activities to 20 hours per week. There are activities that don’t count, such as rehab and getting taped. We educate our coaching staffs and student-athletes (in all sports) to keep everyone informed of the rules. Also, compliance and administrative staff conduct 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.
They attached a PDF on limits and countable activities that I've reproduced as text below. I've bolded the non-countable activities that Michigan is likely going to cite.
During the regular academic year (Fall and Winter terms), the following guidelines are applicable:
• No more than four hours per day of countable activities;
• No more than 20 hours per week of countable activities when in-season, 8 hours when out of season;
• During the 20 hour/week segments, S/A’s must have one day free from all countable activities.
• During the 8 hour/week periods, S/A’s must have two days free from all countable activities.
• It is not permissible to pay expenses for off-campus conditioning activities that take place outside of the declared playing season.
Outside of the prescribed playing and practice season in sports other than football, only a student-athlete's participation in weight training / conditioning and skill instruction shall be permitted. Additional guidelines include:
• For an out of season team, countable activities must cease one week prior to the start of final exams. In the 2009-10 year, the stop dates are December 8, 2009 for the Fall term and April 14, 2010 for the Winter term. All activities must end on or before these dates.
• From the start of classes in the Fall through September 14, no more than 4 student-athletes at one time may participate in skill instruction sessions as part of the 8 hour week. Beginning September 15, there is no limit on how many student-athletes may engage in such activities at the same time.
In the sport of baseball, there is a second period in which skill instruction is limited to only 4 student-athletes. That period is January 6 (first day of classes in the Winter term) through January 14.
• No more than 2 hours of skill instruction are permitted per week outside the playing season. Such instruction is counted within the 8 hour weekly limitation.
In football, the only required activities that may occur outside the playing season while classes are in session are weight training / conditioning and game film review. Required weight training and conditioning activities may not exceed 8 hours per week and may not occur during weeks designated as discretionary weeks. If coaches also require game film review, the time spent must be deducted from the 8 hours / week of conditioning time and may not exceed 2 hours per week.
Countable Athletically Related Activities. A countable athletically related activity is defined as any required activity with an athletics purpose involving student-athletes and held at the direction of or supervised by one or more members of an institution’s coaching staff (including strength and conditioning coaches). Some examples of countable athletically related activities include:
a. Practice / walk-throughs,
c. Required weight-training and conditioning activities held at the direction of or supervised by an institutional staff member;
d. Participation in a physical-fitness class not listed in the UM’s catalogue and open to all students and
that is conducted by a member of the athletics staff;
e. In sports other than football, participation outside the institution's declared playing season in individual skill-related instructional activities with a member of the coaching staff.
f. Film or videotape reviews of athletics practices or contests required, supervised or monitored by institutional staff members;
g. Required participation in camps, clinics or workshops;
h. Meetings initiated by coaches or other institutional staff members on athletically related matters;
i. Individual workouts required or supervised by a member of the coaching staff except as permitted under the safety exception;
j. On-court or on-field activities called by any member or members of a team and confined primarily to members of that team that are considered as requisite for participation in that sport (e.g., captain's practices);
k. Visiting a competition site in the sports of cross country and golf.
Non-countable Athletically Related Activities. The following are considered non-countable athletically related activities and are not counted in the weekly or daily time limitations:
a. Training-table or competition-related meals;
b. Physical rehabilitation;
c. Dressing, showering or taping;
d. Athletics department academic study hall or tutoring sessions;
e. Meetings with coaches on non-athletics matters;
f. Travel to and from practice and competition;
g. Visiting the competition site in sports other than cross country, golf and skiing;
h. Medical examinations or treatments;
i. Fund-raising activities;
j. Recruiting activities (e.g., serving as a student host for prospective student-athletes during official visits);
k. Public relations activities related to the student-athlete's sport (e.g., media days);
l. Participation in regular physical education classes, with or without credit, that are listed in the institution's catalog and open to all students;
m. Voluntary individual workouts, provided these workouts are not required or supervised by coaching staff members, except that such activities may be monitored for safety purposes or conducted by the institution's strength and conditioning personnel who have department wide duties.
n. Individual consultation with a coaching staff member initiated voluntarily by a student-athlete, provided the coach and the student-athlete do not engage in athletically related activities;
o. The provision of videotapes to a student-athlete by an institution's coach that include a personalized message and athletically related information (e.g., discussion of plays, general workout programs, lectures on strategy related to the sport), provided the viewing of the videotape by the student-athlete is voluntary;
p. Use of an institution's athletics facilities (which may be reserved) during the academic year or summer by student-athletes, provided the activities are not supervised by or held at the direction of any member of an institution's coaching staff.
The issue is that the reporter has zero interest in the rules, he is only interested in garnering attention for himself and his paper. Truth and responsibility be damned.
The issue is that the Freep is a dying organization and in its final desperate attempts to cling to life, its willing to disparage anything it can in order to save its own skin for another day.
Good work sir!
The bit about "except that such activities may be monitored for safety purposes or conducted by the institution's strength and conditioning personnel who have department wide duties," is where I think U of M is safe in this whole thing.
Barwis monitors these voluntary workouts, and I'm certain the he makes his presence known at each and every one of these sessions. Because he is so closely involved in all of the goings on of the football program, I'm sure that it might have felt like to some that due to Barwis' general Barwisness that these workouts were mandatory, when in fact they are not, and being the S&C coach, Barwis is well within his NCAA mandated right to be there.
I also wouldn't be shocked if Barwis had one of those memories where he has the ability to know just by walking around the weight room who was there and who skipped out. It's voluntary, but if you don't show up you'd better believe that Barwis is going to work your ass off during the mandatory portion of the work week.
Probably a good memory but also most (if not all) S&C programs have record logs of workout results.
Did we discuss Tate and Denard today?
Hmmm... I think it's a requirement to discuss it daily, or hourly for that matter....
Good statement from Martin...to the point and not retaliating vs. Rosenberg because its not needed.
As evident by Mr. Schofield and Mr. Forcier's comments, we are going to see less and less bitching from players as the old ones move out and RR's recruits take over. Eventually it will all be his players. This will strengthen team unity and get everyone further on the same page.
Part of me feels like such a reasonable, accommodating statement carries a message of "we're fairly sure, but we can't say for certain." This is like adding more chum to the water. Yes, perhaps Martin needs to control the frenzy until a definitive statement can be made, but I fear this will set an unfavorable precedent that the AD needs to conduct a "full investigation" every time some Tom, Dick, or Rosenberg levels an arguably uninformed, baseless, or trivial accusation.
You mean the rules are detailed and require more actual facts and in-depth analysis than Rosenberg provided? I'm shocked, shocked I say.
In theory, I understand that current players would want some anonymity for fear of retribution...but why would the "former players" want to stay anonymous? What do these chicken-shit guys have to be afraid of now that they are out of Barwis and RR's so-called evil reach? What kind of cream puffs did Carr have playing for him?
In the great words of Reggie Mackenzie after Woody went for 2 late in the 1968 blow out..."Oh it's on, homles!"
I think the reason the University can say they've been following compliance is because there's so many activities that they probably have labeled as "optional", even though it appears the players don't feel as if they can miss them without negative repercussions from the coaching staff (which is against the NCAA rules). And like they said in the interview, players were told to just sign the forms saying they spent less than 20 hours a week, even though they thought they spent way more than that, and apparently know nothing about the countable hours policy. Something like that might be a big part of Michigan's self-check for compliance, even though it appears to be nothing more than a formality.
and think that is what happened. However, the "repercussion" is playing time, which is not against NCAA rules.
Also spending > 20 hours a week is fine, as long as it is <20 in the specific activities spelled out above. Any player would question this when signing, and probably would be told that X, Y, & Z are not part of the 20 hour limit.
Going on, this one makes the most sense. Hellz yeah, extra work is "optional." It is in every walk of life. Those who put in extra work are generally more successful. And not just outwardly in terms of achievement. They earn "bonus points" for going the extra mile. Lazy people like me call it "ass kissing."
The great athletes, like the great CEO's, coaches, accountants, lawyers, doctors, and even door to door shoe salesmen put in extra, "voluntary" work.
I guess when you don't get the results you expect, then it is something to bitch about.
For me its been...Shock. Anger. Worry. Fear. Disappointment.
But, then you see the light and realize that this literally would be an administration mistake, not some booster giving kids cash. Which would mean that everyone related to the program would be dropping the ball.
This football team has annual revenue in the 10s of Millions of dollars. And a University with as much at stake as Michigan, doesnt make a mistake like this.
I guarantee that they have an answer for everything related to this. We just have to all be rational and not lose our heads.
how much do you want to bet players said a coach would watch and meant, you know, "coach barwis?"
OT, but one of the archaic and false reasons for limiting the practices and practice times is the "health" of the athletes. Bullshit. Those rules were implemented as nothing more than knee jerk reactions to vultures in the media who were criticizing big time college athletics and created this myth of the "student athlete" who needs to "enjoy" his or her college experience.
For one, the limits on practice (and there is a happy medium) can be detrimental because you have less time to stress fundamentals--and one fundamental that is stressed is how to AVOID INJURY with proper tackling techniques and other things to do on the field of play to ensure a safer experience. Other coaches on this board can comment on that part. But I know I'm right.
For two: the only part that is enjoyable during college are the times when you are partying, getting laid, or skipping classes. That is across the board. But yeah, no one cares that the math major who is working 2 jobs while going to school full time and sleeps 3 hours a week. No one cares about his "student working" experience, do they?
For three: Many of these kids are in school BECAUSE of their athletic prowess. Their dedication to sports has gotten them to this point. Shit, they've bluffed their way through the academic part just like everybody else. If not for sports, a lot of them would be doing what everybody else does: knocking up their girlfriend, getting a job at the grocery store, getting sloshed, doing drugs, ending up with four or five dysfunctional kids who will repeat the cycle, and on and on. That's why we have suburbs in this country. But I digress.
Really, the kids are THERE for sports. They LIKE their jobs as athletes. It's what they are. And a large number of working Americans make big bucks (and little bucks) talking about them.
That "showering" is included on the list of unmonitored activities. Holy shit, I'd hate to be the Assistant-In-Charge-Of-Watching-Guys-Wash-Their-Balls.