Maybe this is one reason why DB is waiting until early January

Submitted by Don on December 1st, 2010 at 10:08 AM

A comment about RR and WVU on another thread prompted me to do some quick digging on the WVU/NCAA situation, and I came across this:…

"A closer look at the NCAA report on West Virginia shows that in violation 5(a) “Prior to the 2005-06 academic year through the fall semester of the 2007-08 academic year, the [WVU] compliance staff communicated concerns to the football staff regarding various individuals with interactions with football student-athletes during practice and game-day activities. However, individuals who were considered to be noncoaching sport-specific staff members continued to engage in impermissible activities… subsequent to the discussions.”

In layman’s terms, West Virginia’s compliance staff told Rodriguez he was breaking the rules and he ignored them.... When West Virginia faces the NCAA in December, it is likely Rodriguez will very much be a man of interest."

Assuming this article is accurate, then it provides another possible reason for Brandon to delay a decision until very late in December or early January. Even though the NCAA did find that the transgressions in the Michigan program were far, far less serious than the Freep alleged, the fact that we are going to be penalized at all is certainly a black mark in the eyes of many at UM. Brandon can't simply laugh it off in his capacity as AD, even if he thinks privately that the whole thing is a bit ridiculous. However, the WVU case is more serious for RR, since WVU is apparently alleging that RR and staff ignored complaints and concerns of the WVU compliance dept. It's difficult for him to maintain that he did nothing knowingly wrong at WVU when there is evidence that problems were brought to his attention.

I don't know what the nature of WVU's December appearance before the NCAA will be. The problem for Brandon is that he can't risk giving a public endorsement to RR's continuation as Michigan's head coach prior to the hearing, when there is a chance, however slight, that RR could find himself in hot water with the NCAA all over again. At this point, the issue of the seriousness of the infractions at WVU—practice time and impermissible coaching—is secondary to the issue of whether or not RR ignored the complaints from the WVU compliance people, which would indicate an attempt to knowingly flout the rules, however picayune they may be in our eyes.

If anybody here has more recent info that would eliminate all this as a concern for DB, by all means go ahead and post.



December 1st, 2010 at 10:39 AM ^

but the bigger question for Brandon is whether it can be proven to the NCAA's satisfaction that the WVU compliance dept. did—or did not—bring their concerns to RR himself. It's one thing for a coach to assert he was out of the loop at one school (Michigan), but when it becomes two schools, then the inevitable question will be why a coach is out of the loop. The optics for RR are really lousy... this is the last thing he needs right now.

*Edit: psychomatt brings the info that a December hearing is now not necessary, which would indicate that this matter, while still an issue for WVU, isn't a factor in DB's timeline. Case closed for now.


December 1st, 2010 at 10:13 AM ^

usually just punish the school and let the coaches walk scot-free? Unless they're wanting to start a new precedent I'd imagine RR is free and clear except for a reputation hit.


December 1st, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

Not sure about the specifics, but Coach Sampson brought was on probation from his OU antics when he was hired at IU (then immediately violated recruit-contact rules and was fired before his probation violations could effect IU)

I'm sure others can offer more accurate insight to this example and/or whether the NCAA's investigation history could / would apply to football

Undefeated dre…

December 1st, 2010 at 10:16 AM ^

Wow, WVU is certainly throwing RR under it. Though note it says "football staff", not "the head coach", and yeah, what they said -- how can this not make WVU look bad for not reporting any of it?


December 1st, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

who on the "football staff" the concerns were communicated to actually were.

Did they communicate directly to RR or to some other staff member that ignored or forgot about it and never talked to RR about the concerns?


December 1st, 2010 at 10:21 AM ^

Is this the same case as we had here? One or two members of the compliance staff (Judy Van Horn and Ann Vollano) telling one or two members of the football staff (Brad Labadie and Scott Draper) about these types of issues? Or did compliance go straight to Coach Rod and tell him something was amiss and then he just chose to ignore it and continue to break the rules? It's a fine line but an important one. I would be very interested to know if this factors into DB's decision.


December 1st, 2010 at 10:23 AM ^

I have strong doubts as to whether this will factor into DB's timeframe even the slightest bit. There's a stronger chance that he hasn't even thought about it.


December 1st, 2010 at 10:28 AM ^

Really? If this has given Brandon pause, we are in deep shit. Personally I would believe he knows exactly what he is going to do as we type. 


December 1st, 2010 at 10:31 AM ^

Please be advised that you have violated the Prohibition on Coaching Change Opinions Act of 2010 (hereafter, the "Act"), profligated by Profitgoblue on November 30, 2010.  In particular, you have violated Article 2(c) of the Act which states, in part:  "Thou shalt not, under any circumstances, speculate, opine, or otherwise comment on Dave Brandon's decision timeframe with respect to the head coaching and/or defensive coordinator job(s)."

However, please be further advised that, pursuant to Article 4(a), a waiver of such violation has been granted by Profitgoblue for the following reasons:  (i) informative nature of thread, and (ii) technical violation does not give rise to imposition of penalty.


December 1st, 2010 at 10:44 AM ^


It seems like the OP is implying that RR could be guilty of something at WV that he's been explicitly cleared of later at U-M. Why would the NCAA have acquiesced to Michigan's response knowing Coach might have had a different experience with the same rules at WV? And, to echo the respondents' opinions, if Coach may have been violating a rule at WV, why did WV not self report?

It seems to me that the WV issue works in RR's favor: He appears to have used QC staff in the same manner at both places, and didn't get clarification of the rules at either place (until after the fact).   


December 1st, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

The WVU case, by agreement of WVU and the NCAA, has been referred for summary disposition. If there was a hearing previously scheduled for December, it appears to have been obviated:

In a press release issued by WVU, the school said it will "advance [its case] through the summary disposition process, which eliminates the need for a written response and a formal hearing."…


December 1st, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

Would this contribute toward a lower buyout number if Rodriguez were implicated in these violations? It seems that could be a factor if Brandon is looking to find an out.


December 1st, 2010 at 10:34 AM ^

Part of the NCAA investigation into Michigan Football was a direct charge against RR. At that time, the NCAA already had the information from WVU althought it was/is yet to go on record with its findings. Every charge leveled against RR personally were dropped.

Whatever happens at WVU will not directly impact RR at Michigan. It may indirectly affect him, but the NCAA cannot reach out and touch him for something that was done at WVU.


December 1st, 2010 at 10:53 AM ^

Could give two shits about what happens with WV.  He is focused on Michigan and he has stated several times that the NCAA violations will not have an impact on his decision to keep RR or not.  I think Brandon thinks the charges are as bogus as any of us.


December 1st, 2010 at 12:35 PM ^

said Jerry Jones.


It's not what hapens with WVU; RR is directly implicated in these accusations. They may be true, they may be false, but Don is saying it's a plausible reason to wait until January. If he is found guilty of fostering an atmosphere of noncompliance, DB would have to seriously look at firing him regardless of whether or not he had a seal of endorsement... hence the waiting.


December 1st, 2010 at 11:17 AM ^

Looks like WVU is playing the blame game, pointing at Rodriguez. If that is proven, it could be a factor.

My guess is that there will be similar things at WVU when it comes to the activities of the non-coaching staff (graduate assistants and the like). This is almost certainly true for many BCS programs in that time period. Whether it is relevant to Michigan will depend on what, exactly, Rodriguez was being warned against by the WVU compliance office. That part of the case at Michigan broke down into two components: [1] one major violator (Alex Herron), and [2] everybody else. IIRC, Herron crossed lines that the others did not. So if the WVU warnings were about things that only Herron (or nobody at Michigan) did, I doubt it will hurt Rodriguez much here. But if clear evidence surfaces that WVU warned Rodriguez directly about the kinds of minor violations practiced at Michigan, then I think you're right that it could be a factor in Brandon's decision. I know I'd be pissed.

Blue In NC

December 1st, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

I am surprised that you would blindly accept the author's jump in logic that RR was directly notified.  the [WVU] compliance staff communicated concerns to the football staff regarding various individuals with interactions with football student-athletes during practice and game-day activities. However, individuals who were considered to be noncoaching sport-specific staff members continued to engage in impermissible activities… subsequent to the discussions.”

First, it does not say "they told RR to stop doing it and to correct these violations" - it says concerns were communicated to the football staff.  We all know it's a gray area and maybe those concerns were alleviated.  Who knows.  We have seen how the communication loop can breakdown.  To me this would have zero relevance to DB's decision unless there is some smoking gun that is not referenced at all in this article.