UM offer to the NCAA

Submitted by JTGoBlue on October 20th, 2010 at 8:57 PM

While we're waiting for the response from the NCAA to the allegations, and UM's offer of self-imposed sanctions..

Michigan has denied one allegation against coach Rodriguez:  'Failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance'.  This is the most significant charge, but ambiguous, without tangible effects...perhaps opening up the possibility of more significant penalties.

What if the NCAA rejects the denial, and the proposal of self-imposed sanctions? Can the University then take these 'off the table', and then challenge everything? Bring a legal 'full court press' and challenge the ambiguity of the rules (hasn't this been admitted by the NCAA?)?

So far, Michigan has taken the fully cooperative, diplomatic approach..and offered a reasonable deal - if not accepted, why not launch a 'shock and awe' legal campaign and force the NCAA to show the burden of proof against the documented  'rules'?




October 20th, 2010 at 9:05 PM ^

If the NCAA is saddled with the burden of proof on the remaining allegations, Michigan's express concessions that they committed those enumerated secondary violations will almost certainly saitsfy that burden. 

In my humble opinion (having never practiced in this area of law), there's no turning back on those secondary violations and I think U of M is content with that.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:05 PM ^

I would think that the lawyers the NCAA has working for them would prepare for all scenarios and not be "shocked" if Michigan supposedly turned the tables. Despite the ambiguity, I think the key word is "atmosphere".  You can easily prove that Michigan wasn't compliant with the rules and by extension that they weren't promoting compliance by allowing that to continue (all ignorance to the situation aside).  Michigan would basically have to prove that the "atmosphere" of the whole program wasn't promoting compliance.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:11 PM ^

How much of this is a strictly legal issue?

The NCAA admits upfront that their investigations, violations, and sanctions are not based in legality (e.g. they didn't have to prove Bush took money/benefits in a court of law, they just had to convince themselves). Basically, I don't think there is a "burden of proof" on either side.

[EDIT: I removed my second point for being stupid.]

03 Blue 07

October 21st, 2010 at 1:05 AM ^

It's not a court of law. It's an organization that U of M wilfully participates in and subjects itself to the rules and bylaws of, and this is the forum by which U of M has agreed to mediate such disputes.

Unless there would be a constitutional violation, or a "federal question," U of M has no recourse to take it to, say, Federal court. It'd get tossed in a second because U of M contractually agreed to this forum. No one forces U of M (or any college) to be a member of the NCAA.

Oh wait- that's pretty much exactly what you said. Ahh, crap. I think this means it's time for me to go to bed. But yeah, U of M is "in the fire" here, and if they were to switch course, IMO, it would be a foolish strategic decision (re: the "turning the tables" argument.) Generally, a prior admission is pretty much you "making your bed" in a normal court, so you have to stick by that strategy. I can't see how or why it would be different here from a strategy perspective. I mean, think about it: you destroy the credibility of ANY argument you make if you essentially say, "well, you know, we said and pled that before...but we didn't mean it! NOW we mean it! Believe us now!" Yeah, that wouldn't work.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:13 PM ^

Just waiting to see what they say would be no fun, and give us less to talk about. Like just 'waiting and seeing' if we win on Saturday, or if we land a prized recruit, or where we're ranked on Monday, or....


October 20th, 2010 at 9:17 PM ^

I would have to guess that membership in the NCAA depends strictly on allowing the NCAA to investigate and rule on all potential violations of its policies and procedures. If an institution actually threatened legal action against the NCAA, they could probably kiss all the NCAA benefits bye bye. I would bet that they agree to handle all legal issues with the NCAA in arbitration too. Member schools probably can't sue the NCAA.

In addition, this isn't a negotiation process. This isn't one side going to bat against the other. It's like a subordinate getting punished by the boss, and the boss gives the screw up one last chance to punish himself or face the wrath of the hammer. The NCAA encourages self policing so that everyone can save resources. Even if Michigan decides not to play ball, the NCAA can still screw them and there's nothing they can do about it.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:58 PM ^

Appeals go through the same people who handed down the punishment in the first place.  There is no third-party arbitration available, from what I understand.  So, really, like everyone else, Michigan is probably stuck with whatever they get.  If appeals or outside action worked, the money machine at USC would be fighting their punishment tooth and nail.

I am guessing, though, that Michigan doesn't get much if anything added to what they have already proposed.  The violations really were quite minor in nature.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:54 PM ^

to the press conference when the NCAA says " the University's self imposed sanctions are MORE than satisfactory to the NCAA.  Sorry we can't stay later but we have a plane to Columbus to catch."