Big Ten Hits Michigan With Personal Foul

Submitted by MaizeAndBlueWahoo on November 6th, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Big Ten Hits Michigan With Personal Foul

Game Overshadowed By Further Penalties Under Rodriguez; Holding, Pass Interference Also Suspected

BY MICHAEL ROSENBERG, FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

The University of Michigan football program under Rich Rodriguez has been accused by Big Ten Conference officials of numerous violations of the NCAA rulebook during the Wolverines' game against Illinois on Saturday, the Free Press has learned.

Some of the allegations were confirmed during the game by the officials themselves.  When reached for comment, referee David Witvoet said, "Holding.  Offense #77.  Ten-yard penalty; repeat third down."  The Free Press identified #77 as freshman offensive lineman Taylor Lewan.  Lewan appeared to be unaware of the rules in an earlier media interview, saying he was sometimes flagged for excessive blocking and, "I don't even know if that's a rule."

The NCAA rulebook reads,

"Holding or illegal obstruction by a teammate of the ball carrier or passer applies to Rule 9-3-3-a: The hand(s) and arm(s) shall not be used to grasp, pull, or encircle in any way that illegally impedes or illegally obstructs an opponent."

But perhaps more troubling is the allegation of a personal foul that occurred during the course of the game.  Though Rodriguez has said in the past that "we don't coach our players to do that," the infraction, again confirmed by Big Ten officials, occurred in the third quarter of the Illinois game.  Personal fouls are considered a major violation of the NCAA rulebook.

In addition to those penalties already confirmed by the conference, Rodriguez's program is suspected of several other rulebook violations, accused by Illinois players who remain anonymous so as to protect them from possible repercussions.  On one play, during which there was contact between a Michigan defender and an Illinois receiver, the pass fell incomplete and the Illinois player was seen waving his hands in a manner that suggested a penalty flag should have been thrown.  Several parents of Illinois players - who will also remain anonymous to protect their sons from repercussions - confirmed the accusation, holding their hands to the back of their heads in disbelief.

When reached for comment, Rodriguez appeared calm.  "We need to be more aggressive at times and that time it paid off," he said.

Michigan won the game, 67-65.

However, with the program already on probation following the NCAA's confirmation and validation of an earlier Free Press investigation that resulted in the heaviest-ever NCAA sanctions against the Michigan program for earlier violations already committed under Rodriguez's watch, Athletic Director Dave Brandon may finally have no choice but to fire his embattled coach.  Brandon and President Mary Sue Coleman could not be reached for comment.  But a clause in Rodriguez's contract allows him to be fired for violations of the NCAA rulebook, and with Rodriguez already on a short leash it is thought that Brandon and the Michigan brass have already had discussions regarding his termination.

Comments

MGoShtoink

November 6th, 2010 at 6:11 PM ^

Link?

If this is for real, we all knew Rosenberg was an ignorant ass, but this is just piss poor.  He really wants to get RR fired, and seems to now be openly politiking for it.

The Freep needs to shut him down and fast.

umhero

November 6th, 2010 at 6:40 PM ^

I can't believe you posted a whole article without a link back to the original.  I realize that we are boycotting their site, but we shouldn't repost unedited content.

/s

Doctor Sardonicus

November 6th, 2010 at 7:53 PM ^

The best satire takes reality and twists it just a little bit to create absurdity.  That's why this is so perfectly done, it reads like a typical Rosenberg piece with all the snarky asides.

Section 1

November 6th, 2010 at 10:10 PM ^

Under Rodriguez.  I'll just bet that the same thing happened with Tulane and Clemson.  Several Clemson boosters with knowledge of the program under Rodriguez recall a 15-yard facemask penalty, although they spoke on condition of anonymity, because they each had two first names. 

It can't be a coincidence.  We need an investigation.

Blumanji

November 6th, 2010 at 11:18 PM ^

I was scared to open it, pissed when I started reading it, then I was confused, now I'm laughing hysterically. I also had to explain to my wife why this was funny. Thank you, but I'm apparently still too tense after the game. Good work.

M go Bru

November 7th, 2010 at 1:37 AM ^

I think the Illinois player who hit Tate out of bounds should be given an additional penalty beyond just the personal foul penalty he received.

I think he deserves at least a one game suspension. Is there any precedence for this in the Big Ten?

Red is Blue

November 7th, 2010 at 7:48 AM ^

Very creative.  Just one question, what is this "Free Press" to which the article refers?  I wasn't aware that a journalist body with such a name and with any relevance still existed.

tk47

November 7th, 2010 at 10:25 AM ^

Very well done, sir.  I especially liked the single-line mentioning the actual outcome of the game.  This is more like Rosenberg's writing than ... well, Rosenberg's writing.

Some people don't care for anti-Freep posts, but honestly, I'll never get sick of these.