University of Michigan Statements: Mary Sue Coleman: "Good afternoon. Joining me today are Dave Brandon, our director of intercollegiate athletics and Rich Rodriguez our head football coach. Today marks the end of a cooperative effort between the University of Michigan and the NCAA. We have taken this investigation very seriously from day one. I am very proud of how are staff has handled this situation every step of the way. We have cooperated fully with the NCAA staff and we have acknowledged the violations. The University of Michigan is very proud of its athletic and academic excellence, as well as its athletics' compliant record. This case may not be as sensational as other major infraction cases but to the University of Michigan it could not be more serious. We offer no excuses for the violations, they should not have occurred and we have implemented measures to ensure that they do not happen again. We are satisfied with the sanctions handed down by the NCAA and believe the penalties are appropriate for the violations. We are focused on the future and are continued commitment to integrity and excellence. Now I would like to invite Dave Brandon to review the sanctions and discuss the next steps."
Dave Brandon: "Thanks President Coleman and good afternoon everyone. Effective today, I am pleased to report that the NCAA matter pertaining to the University of Michigan and our football program is over and done. There were no surprises in the report that we received yesterday. There will be no appeals because there is nothing to appeal. As we prepared our response to the notice of allegation and for our appearance before the committee on infractions, we established certain objections and desired outcomes and I would like to review those with you.
First of all, a local newspaper did a very high profile story, which suggested that our coaches were subjecting our student-athletes to unfair and inappropriate regimens that were creating risks to their overall health and welfare. The article quoted several unnamed sources and extracted quotes from several named individuals that were made at different times and in many cases different context. We strongly believe that a detailed and thorough investigation would prove these allegations to be false and misleading and based on our internal investigation and the extensive investigation conducted and now completed by the NCAA this important issue has been addressed. There was nothing found that even remotely suggested that our players welfare, safety or well-being was at all at risk.
Secondly, there was the issue of countable athletic related activities otherwise known as CARA and that certainly is related to the first point I made. To review, we were dealing with a situation where we had an aggregate over a long extended period of time exceeded our maximum amount of hours by a total of 65 hours. Fifty-seven of those 65 hours were misinterpretations that we openly admit to of the stretching and warm ups that were engaged in and how they were to be treated under the rules of CARA. The violations that occurred were all measured in minutes, not in hours over an extended period of time and that is how in aggregate it become 65 hours. We were wrong as it relates to our interpretation of stretching and warm up time. We have corrected what we had wrong. We imposed a self-penalty of 130 hours, which is fundamentally 2x the amount of hours that we actually exceeded and the NCAA has agreed with our self-imposed penalty of 130 hours and we are in the process of implementing that penalty and that matter is rapidly closing.
The third area that I want to talk about is exceeding coaching limits. We made it very clear in our response to the notice of allegations that we were wrong, that we had some young staff people who were overzealous in some of the activities that they attempted to engage in with our student-athletes. We have corrected the situation and we have imposed penalties on ourselves. We have reduced the number of quality control staff that we have in the program and the ones that were remaining we basically took them off the field, out of the bench area, out of the meeting rooms and took them pretty much out of the program as a way of implementing what we consider to be an appropriate response. As you learned today, the NCAA agreed with that response and that matter is behind us.
The next issue was failure to monitor both on behalf of the university as well as on behalf of our head coach and as we said in our notice to our notice of allegations, we admitted that we were guilty of failure to monitor, simply because of the previous two issues that I have discussed. We did not do a good job with the CARA form issue. We did not do a good job of tracking our time during warm up. We did not do a good job of educating our quality control staff as to what their limits were as it relates to coaching. We had misunderstandings as it relates to reporting lines and job descriptions and consequentially we were absolutely guilty of a failure to monitor, both institutionally as well as in our football program as headed up by our coach. We were wrong. We have corrected all of those issues. We self imposed the following. We made reprimands to virtually everybody in the program that was involved in the mishandling of those areas and we felt that that was appropriate to make sure that those people understood that we needed to fix those issues. We needed to step up to our responsibilities. We did that. We suggested a two year period of probation. Interestingly enough when we reviewed the decisions that we had to make in terms of our self-imposed penalties we had a long discussion whether as to whether two or three years was appropriate. In some cases, it was being recommended to us that three years would be more consistent with a case like this. We elected to go with two years and as you learned today, the NCAA extended and added one year.
There were two other issues that were very important to us particularly as we went off to meet with the committee on infractions and one was the issue of repeat offender, we were actually technically a repeat offender based on the timing of the conclusion of the basketball case that happened nearly 13 years ago. We argued that was a technical issue based on the way that case dragged on and in many cases the reason it dragged down was because we wanted it to. We were participating with the authorities on a very complex criminal issue and after hearing our argument, we were pleased to learn yesterday that the NCAA agreed that we did not deserve additional incremental penalties as a result of being labeled or considered a repeat offender.
The last area that was extremely important to us that we went to Seattle and spoke hard and vigorously about was the whole issue as to whether our head coach deserved to receive a violation that would suggest that he failed to provide an atmosphere of compliance in our football program. We made our case. We made our case strongly and we were pleased yesterday to learn that the committee on infractions agreed with our position on the matter and that it would be inappropriate and it would not be just for them to conclude that our head coach was guilty of not providing an atmosphere of compliance. We all know and recognize that we made mistakes. They were made at various levels in the department and throughout the athletic department organization. We are certainly guilty of failure to monitor, but we felt that it was important for us to take a strong position on that particular allegation, we did and we are pleased with the outcome.
In summing things up, I would like to say that I am very proud of our institution and our department for the way we have conducted ourselves throughout this very unfortunate process. We had full cooperation from our players, our coaches and our staff. You have to remember that many of the interviews and much of the activity that was associated with this investigation happened during a playing season. We literally had players that were being taken off the practice field to be interviewed. This was a very aggressive and full investigation that was conducted by the NCAA and from all the reports that I received, our players, our student-athletes, our coaches and our staff were fully cooperative and handled themselves with great class. I am also proud of the fact that we were totally transparent in the way that we've handled this from the moment that we received the notice of allegations to where we stand today. We have made ourselves available, we have made the information available and we've been as open and as honest as we can in terms of our view on this whole matter. I do not believe you can find that we have engaged in any excuse making. We have not been whiney. We have not pointed fingers at anyone and we have not tried to rationalize what has happened. We have admitted to our mistakes. We have corrected them and we are moving forward. I really want to thank everyone associated with this process and there are many for the cooperation and spirit of teammate that took place to where we are today and get this matter behind us. With that I would like to give Coach Rodriguez to say a few words and then I'll be back to handle some of your questions."
Coach Rodriguez: "Thanks Dave. I just have a brief statement and then as Dave mentioned I will be available for a few questions and of course I've got practice. Certainly, I'm glad this process has come to a close. I'm pleased that our own assessment is in sync with the NCAA both related to me and the university as a whole. I believe I've always maintained an open relationship with our compliance staff, athletic administrators in every level of my coaching career and will continue to do so. We've worked hard to make sure that the internal breakdowns will not happen again. I am focused on the Illinois game as you can imagine and to help Michigan football have a successful season."
Full Transcript: Coleman, Brandon, Rodriguez
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