Full Transcript: Q&A Coleman, Brandon, R-Rod

The full transcript of yesterday's Q&A Session with President Mary Sue Coleman, Athletic Director David Brandon, and Coach Rich Rodriguez.

Question to Brandon: When you guys challenged the failure to promote atmosphere of compliance, did you expect that would dropped entirely and there was just four violation that were committed instead of the five?

Dave Brandon: "I think it is fair to say we didn't know what to expect. We felt that there was great balance in our argument. We went to the committee on infractions and we openly admitted to the things that we felt we were wrong and we needed to correct, but at the same token, we fought vigorously for the things that we felt were points that were worth further discussion and further evaluation and obviously, that took place. As I said, I'm very pleased with the conclusion."

Question to Brandon: How big of a distinction is that in your mind between the fostering the atmosphere and failure to monitor; is it the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor, tell us the difference in your mind?

Dave Brandon: "I'm going to punt that one just like it happened on the call. I was listening in on the call as many of you were and I invite you to crawl into the rule book of the NCAA and try to come up with your own conclusions as it relates to that because I don't know how to frame that. I think one of the issues with the NCAA is that there are secondary violations and there are major violations and there is nothing in between. I think in some cases that creates great difficulty. I will just tell you that we felt just the tone, the positioning that would suggest that our coach failed to provide an atmosphere of compliance, to us didn't feel good and it didn't feel appropriate and that's why we argued the way we did. Certainly, there must be some meaning associated with that because the committee on infractions listened to our argument and they changed their position."

Question to Brandon: The fact remains though that the program is pretty much guilty of five major violations right now, is that ground for perhaps terminating the coach from his contract?

Dave Brandon: "No. Actually before I started this job in February and that whole topic came up and at that particularly time before all this information came to light and before this whole failure to provide an atmosphere of compliance issue was dropped, I made it very clear that I did not feel that anything had taken place here that should impact the status of our coach. Where we stand today is even in more of a positive position than we were then in terms of the number of allegations and the nature of the allegations."

Question to Rodriguez: Just looking back on all this time and everything, how big of a distraction or has this been a distraction for you and your program in terms of what you've been trying to get done here?

Coach Rodriguez: "As Dave mentioned, I'm equally as proud of our players and our staff in the way they handled the investigation. From the start of it and to the completion of the interviews, which was the bulk of a distraction as you will happened during the season last year and certainly a little bit for myself and some staff members throughout the summer and with our August hearing. As it relates to this year's team, it hasn't really been talked about or been an issue at all because we have not done anything since the August hearing, at least the staff hasn't and I haven't. I think our players have handled everything very well. I'm glad the process is over. No longer can it be used as a kind of thing that is hanging over the program from a negative recruiting standpoint and things that have happened because that has been brought to our attention through recruiting that this has kind of been a negative thing and that's why I'm glad this process is over and we can move on."

Question to Rodriguez: Is there a point where you have a sense of relief last night when you read this report and today as you are able to step forward?

Coach Rodriguez: "Sure. The biggest relief as I mentioned is that the process is over. There is a lot of hard work put in, not only by us and our staff and our university but also the NCAA staff. They worked hard as well and there is a lot of detail in all of the reports and I'm not sure everybody reads all the detail, but they put a lot of work into it, a lot of time and money and a lot of hard work put into it and there were reputations on the line. We fought for the things that we thought we should fight for. We agreed to mistakes that were made and we fixed the mistakes in a hurry and now it is over. Now we get to move on."

Question to Brandon: The two things you offered for, the defense of Rich and repeat defender, was there a sense of relief as well on your behalf and the athletic department?

Dave Brandon: "Sure there are. I think it narrows this down. It may be easy to talk about the number of major violations but the whole failure to monitor is related to two fundamental issues. One is our interpretation of stretching and warming up, countable hours and the other is some of the mistakes that were made by staff members at a junior level in the department, our quality control people, mistakes that were made. Those are the two issues and because those two issues occurred, we appropriately received failure to monitor violations as well. But those are the two issues. The fact that it has been narrowed down to those two issues I think pretty well sums up what we're dealing with here, what we've been dealing with here and now we can move on."

Question to Rodriguez: I haven't read every word in this report but is it fair to say that the conclusion was that you were not aware of what was going on in your football program at these times?

Coach Rodriguez: "I apologize because I haven't read the entire report either. So I can't speak to what is in entirety of the report. As we mentioned, everybody has accepted responsibility that needed to including myself and I think the most important thing is accept the responsibility and then fix it. We fixed it immediately and it wasn't a hard thing to fix and we had to fix it. Miscommunication, the processes that were flawed are now no longer there. Again, everybody involved from the university standpoint, certainly in the football program have learned a lot from this and we'll be better going forward. I can't control other people whether they read the whole report or portions of the report or somewhere in between and whatever their agenda is – I can't control that. All I can control is doing what we have to do in the investigation and fix our processes and being as honest and forthright with the committee and I think the committee saw that thus they came to the results that it came too."

Question to Brandon: Dave, I'm confused. The president said that this was something that the university could not take more seriously, your talking about how this has been reduced to some stretching and some junior staff issues, is what was reported, is this a serious issue as far as you're concerned?

Dave Brandon: "Listen, we have gone through months and months with dealing with investigations, violations, allegations, there is nothing more serious than that. Don't take anything I say as believing that there is anything other than a very serious matter that this university has had to deal with and this athletic department. But what I'm doing is appropriately framing up after all that is said and done exactly what the specific issues were that created the problem. It is very clear. It is now very clear in a very detailed report fashion, what the issues were and I just want to make sure that that is an important consideration. They are major violations, absolutely. We've admitted to them and we are moving forward."

Question to Rodriguez: Do either of you or some of the experts that you talk with, does the ruling here pretend well for the West Virginia case or do you view them as two separate entities?

Coach Rodriguez: "Really this is about Michigan (not) West Virginia and frankly I have not done a whole lot with it. That is a separate case from the one here and I'll personally deal with that at the appropriate time."

Question to Brandon: A 130 hours

, do you have any idea how many of those have already been sacrificed so far? Dave Brandon: "32, not that I have any idea, but 32."

Question to Brandon and Rodriguez: You'll play that out until how long?

Dave Brandon: "We have a two year period where actually the coach and this was voluntary on the coach's part, as opposed to taking the full two years. He's put together a program where we will probably digest those 130 hours at closer to 18 months I think is your plan."

Coach Rodriguez: "We'll be done by the end of summer."

Question to Brandon: I saw in the report that the probation actually begins today. Is that something that you were waiting on or had you already begun to put the probation requirements since you suggested it so long ago?

Dave Brandon: "Yeah. We understood that probation would be a part of this. It is a part of every one of these kinds of cases and we know what that means. It is fundamentally a pretty intensive reporting process that we engage in with the NCAA. We've been engaged in some pretty extensive reporting ever since the notice of allegations came out. So that is not going to change our world. It is just going to be something that we need to do and want to do to meet our responsibilities under the agreement that we have."

Question to Coleman: Based on this and totality of the football program that includes everything, wins, losses and everything; how do you feel right now about the future and the direction of the Michigan football program?

Mary Sue Coleman: "I think you probably know that I'm a big sport's fan and I want everything about Michigan to make itself proud and I'm very proud today as a matter of fact about how we responded to these allegations and I want to make that clear. I think everybody did their job enormously well. I'm very pleased to hire back in March an athletic director who is thoughtful and careful and an expert in the areas that we are dealing with. This is ultimately his call, but I am very proud of what has happened. I'm proud of how are coach has handled all this stuff, as well as his players. I was told over and over again by the NCAA staff about how well the players comported themselves and I would expect no less of the University of Michigan students and I think they represented us very, very well. So I've just been extremely pleased about the forthrightness and the honesty with which everybody has dealt with this and the rapidity with which we have put the controls in place to make sure that there are no more misunderstandings."

Question to Coleman: You had mentioned on the day of the basketball penalties that that was a day of great shame for the university and that was one of your key phrases that day, do you feel that this is on a different level on that? Do you feel differently about his situation than that one?

Mary Sue Coleman: "I think your memory is a little bit cloudy. I did not say that on the day of the penalties. I said that on the day that we announced our self-imposed penalties of the basketball. The basketball issue related to what I felt like was corruption of young people with large amounts of money. I do not put this in the same category."

Question to Brandon: Based on the totality and that you will evaluate the whole program after the season, how does this factor into your evaluation?

Dave Brandon: "I have said ad nauseam that I have a process for all of our coaches and all of our sports and at the end of the season we sit down and we review an enormous amount of information that is at my disposal that pertains to all aspects of the program. At that point, obviously, I have a decision to make as it relates to who coaches any of our sports and our coaches have a decision to make as to whether they want to continue to coach at Michigan. The situation with our football program is no different than our other 26 sports in that regard and that's what I'll do after this season and the season after that and the season after that. That's all I have to say on that."

Question to Brandon: You talked about the thoroughness of the investigation, can you give us more detail about how many people were interviewed and who specifically was interviewed?

Dave Brandon: "I don't have that to specific detail. I do know that along the way, I know there were many, many of our student athletes. I know there were former student athletes. I know most members of the administrative staff that were at all connected with football. I know that all of the coaches affiliated with football both head and assistant coaches were involved. I would only describe it as far-reaching and extensive. I don't have the specific head counts."

Question to Brandon: I know you said ad nauseam and I understand that but just to clarify for Michigan fans out there, you said a range of things that you were evaluate about your football program and wins and losses is just part of it. As the season unfolds, I assume that you will be evaluating the rest of this season also based on wins and losses and how big of a part is that really?

Dave Brandon: "Wins and losses matter, so do the management of your staff, so does the pipeline of recruits, so does the academic performance of your student-athletes, so does the academic performance of your prospective student-athletes, so is the conduct of your student-athletes. There are a lot of statistical measures in athletes. There is no lack of information and there is no lack of bench marking opportunities to look at other programs and similar states or positioning that we are in, in any one of our 27 sports. We still have a season to play. We still have several important games to play that will be a great test for our football program and let us just go play the games and let us let our coach and our players be focused on the task at hand. Then at the end of the season we'll do what we'll do every season and will review and see where we have gotten better and where we need to improve."

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