Infractions Committee's Verdict on UM

In a teleconference earlier this afternoon the NCAA Division I committee on infractions detailed its findings with respect to the allegations against the University of Michigan and the subsequent penalties it levied forthwith. See the transcript of the teleconference inside.

NCAA Infractions Committee Teleconference (11-4-2010)

Stacey Osburn:  "Thank you.  Welcome to today's press conference to discuss the NCAA Division I committee on infractions decision for the University of Michigan, a member of the NCAA Division I committee on infractions who heard this case include Paul Dee, lecturer of law and education at the University of Miami and formerly the institution's athletics director and general counsel.  He is the chair of the Committee on Infractions.  Other members are Melissa Conboy, deputy director of athletics at University of Notre Dame; James O'Fallon, a law professor and faculty athletics representative for University of Oregon; Roscoe C. Howard, Jr., attorney; John Black, attorney; Andrea Myers, athletics director emeritus, at Indiana State University; and Eleanor Myers, faculty athletics representative and law professor at Temple University.  In just a moment, chair Paul Dee will discuss the findings and decisions of the infractions committee.  Following his comments, he will take questions from the media.  I will not like to turn the call over to the chair, chair Paul Dee for comments."

Paul Dee:  "Good afternoon.  This is the report of the committee on infractions with respect to the University of Michigan.  This case centers on violations relating to playing and practice season limitations, exceeding of limits on the number of coaches, the failure to monitor by the university and the head football coach, as well as unethical conduct by a former graduate assistant.  The actual allegations in this case and those which the committee passed on related to the following:  January 2008 through September 2009, the football program exceeded playing and practice limits by approximately 65 hours.  NCAA rules limiting athletically related activities are in place to safeguard student-athlete well-being and to ensure for academic work.  In this case, the football staff members monitored and conducted voluntary summer workouts, conducted impermissible activities outside of the playing season and required student-athletes to participate in summer conditioning activities as a form of punishment, and exceeded time limits for athletic activities outside the playing season. 

Second the football program also exceeded the number of permitted coaches.  The NCAA rules allow one head coach, nine assistant coaches and two graduate assistants for Football Bowl Subdivision.  In this case, five quality control staff members monitored and conducted skill-development activities, and offered advice on technique during practice and film review.  These activities led to the quality control staff becoming countable coaches, which led to the university exceeding the limits of countable coaches. 

The committee noted in its report that all five quality control staff members were on the sidelines for practices and games, traveled with the team, wore the same coaching attire, shared office space with the football staff and attended team meetings.  Student-athletes reported some confusion regarding whether the five individuals were members of the coaching staff.

The committee found that the scope and nature of the violations demonstrated that the head coach and university failed to monitor the number, duties and activities of the football coaches, as well as the limits for countable athletically related activities.  The committee noted the head coach failed to ascertain the extent of the activities taking place and to confirm that all activities were conducted according to NCAA rules.

The university as well failed to monitor its program when administrators withheld the job descriptions of the coaching staff and forms documenting the countable hours from the compliance office.  The former director of athletics and senior associate director of athletics also did not insist the football staff immediately comply with the requests for the job descriptions.

Finally, a former graduate assistant was cited for unethical conduct for providing false and misleading information on two occasions during the investigation about his involvement and knowledge of the violations.

As a result of these findings, the committee has improved the following penalties:

  • Public reprimand and censure of the university and its athletic program, particularly football.
  • Three years of probation beginning this date, November 4, 2010 and ending November 3, 2013.
  • Reduction of 130 hours for allowed countable athletically related activity in football from June 1, 2010 through the conclusion of the 2011-12 academic year and it is pointed out that this penalty was self-imposed by the university.  I might add that the university had recommended two years of probation, which the committee took to three. 
  • The head football coach must attend the 2011 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.

These conclude my opening remarks."

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