Full Transcript: Presser Q & A

The full transcript of today's presser Q & A with David Brandon, Coach Rod and Mary Sue Coleman.

Question: When did you receive the notice of allegations?

David Brandon: "We received the notion of allegation yesterday, late morning."

Question: It is standard in notice of allegations from the ones that I've read in the past that all allegations are considered major unless otherwise noted as secondary; I'm curious how many allegations were in there and how many were noted as secondary?

David Brandon: "We're going to provide that information to you and the best thing for you to do is go through it and come to your own conclusions. I'm not sure I understand the difference between major and minor and secondary and primary. I think they spell it out very specifically in their own language. I would refer you to the documents."

Question: Are the quality control members a part of the coaching staff and are they paid by the University of Michigan?

David Brandon: "The quality control staff are paid by the University of Michigan. They are part of the athletic program. They are certainly part of the football program, but they do not rise to the level of being coaches. They do a lot of activities interacting with the student-athletic. They do class checking. They are somewhat administrative assistants for the coaches. There are very clear lines of what responsibilities that they have and those lines are not supposed to become blurred with any specific coaching activity."

Question: How many members of that quality control staff?

David Brandon: "My understanding is that we had five quality control staff members."

Question: Are there any disciplinary action on those members?

David Brandon: "We are not going to discuss any personnel related matters at this particular time. We'll review this in the entirety, and we will take whatever steps we think are appropriate."

Question: You mentioned the graduate assistant conduct during the investigation; can you elaborate on that?

David Brandon: "I think it is extremely important that I not elaborate other than to refer you to the actual allegation as it appears in the notice of allegations. We'll let the NCAA explain their reasoning and what the charges are relative to that individual."

Question: You said you considered implementing sanctions; can you tell us what is on the table for what you would consider?

David Brandon: "Since we just got the notice of allegations less than 24 hours ago it would be irresponsible to assume at this point that we've had the opportunity to do a couple of things. 1) We need to overlay what the NCAA is telling us with what our internal investigation revealed, and we need to go through that process. 2) Then we need to sit down and look and find exactly where the mistakes were made; how were they made and was there any intent. At least based on my reading and you can all draw your own conclusions, I think what you'll find there are not situations that jump out at you, or there was anybody not trying to do their job that was purposely, maliciously either falsifying documents or misrepresenting the facts. My read of the situation is that we had a breakdown internally in communication and some of our policies and procedures that were not followed as carefully as they should be and that led us to where we are today more than any one individual either being guilty of incompetence or any malicious behavior."

Question: Can you share what the University's investigation found?

David Brandon: "No. We are in a position where we need to overlay that with the NCAA and at some point and time when it is appropriate, probably after we finish with our communication with the NCAA that we may be in a position to tell you more detail about that."

Question: Is your investigation complete?

David Brandon: "I do not know if the investigation is ever complete. Obviously once we get this information from the NCAA we will continue dialogue and dig further if there is anything that is part of the NCAA investigation that does not match with what we have seen internally we will likely dig into that situation further to learn more."

Question: Are you aware of any preliminary findings by the internal investigation?

David Brandon: "Preliminary findings in what regard?"

Question: Involving the football program.

David Brandon: "We conducted an internal investigation and certainly we have some knowledge as it relates to some of the things that we found. The CARA forms are a great example. We found that we were not being diligent in the way that those were being both completed and managed. Those are some of the areas that we have already addressed. So when I spoke with some of the things that we've already done those were a result of things we identified in our investigation that we responded to immediately; we did not need to wait for the NCAA came out with their report."

Question: Was there any surprises in the NCAA notice?

David Brandon: "No."

Question: You were aware of all those issues?

David Brandon: "Yes."

Question: Are we going to be able to ask questions after we see the notice in case there is something new that we want to ask about?

David Brandon: "My understanding is that we are going to pass out the notice. I think what you are going to find is that it is far more than something you can glance at briefly and ask a quick question. You're going to have to do the same thing we've done over the last 24 hours and try to spend a reasonable amount of time digging through a lot of details and a lot of legalese. I invite you to do that. We will be prepared to come back and talk about this probably after we complete our process with the NCAA."

Question: How does this, and hopefully Rich you can address this too, affect his job status for next year and how you feel about that personally?

David Brandon: "Rich Rodriguez is our football coach. He'll be our football coach next year. There is nothing that I see in what has come up in the notice of allegation or our internal investigation that leads me to believe that there should be any change in the status of our football coach."

Question: You know nothing is trivial, but given what's out there in the NCAA in terms of major violations across the country, was there any sense of relief when this came back and it was what it was?

David Brandon: "Sure, listen, there is all kinds of bad stuff that has happened out there in major programs across the country. You know all about it as well as I do. When you start talking about recruiting violations, and gambling, academic fraud and all those things that are out there – those are scary things and certain we're thankful that that is not the kind of thing we're talking about today. What I want to make sure is that we take responsibility for the issues that we need to address. We do not trivialize anything. We do not like being here today. We do not like getting notice of allegations from the NCAA in any form, in any way and we're going to fix it. That's what is far more important to me then any language that would suggest that we are minimizing what is happening there."

Question: Coach Rodriguez, some of the allegations that are about stretching and warming up and not knowing what is athletic accountable time; you were at West Virginia for a long time, did you not count stretching and warming up there?

Coach Rodriguez: "Well, I think as the leader, I hope this answers your question; it's my job as the leader to make sure that our guys not only know what the rules are but what the possible interpretations are. Sometimes when you do not communicate or you communicate sometimes that is not always coming across as the same. We did not have any issues in the past. That's not to excuse us if we misinterpreted the rules. That's still on us and still on my staff and what I have to do as the leader of the program is make sure that we get the proper interpretation and we follow the rules the way they are supposed to be interpreted and it is a communicated amongst the whole staff. We've already begun that process. I know there will not be any issues in regards to that in the future."

David Brandon: "My job starting March 8th is to make sure that same alignment that Rich describes among his staff and what he controls exists in the compliance and the things that are under my prevue as the incoming athletic director. We need to make sure there is terrific alignment, great communication and a clear understanding that we are meeting our understanding that we are meeting our responsibilities."

Question: Did you do anything different at West Virginia in this regard? A lot of these coaches came with you, did you just do the same thing there and you are saying maybe you did not know back then that these things were not countable?

Coach Rodriguez: "It was a different staff at West Virginia. We did not have as large a staff at West Virginia, as we have here. That being said, the procedures that we did and the policies that we followed here at Michigan, we believed that we interpreted one way. Obviously with the investigation and the information that we're received throughout and we reviewed all of our practices, policies and procedures. I've not gone back to think about what we did in the past, we want to make sure that we are doing it right in the future and doing it right, right now."

Question: Were your interpretations wrong?

Coach Rodriguez: "As I said as a leader, as the head of the program, everything that has been brought out today and brought through the NCAA investigation we're looking at to see why we misinterpreted and why we made mistakes in certain processes and everybody on our staff and I have always felt compliance was a priority for us and it always will be. I hope our past record in that regard will reflect that. That being said, we know we can do a better job in certain areas, particularly the two areas that they talked about and we've got…I've got to do a great job of communicating that amongst our whole staff and work diligently toward that end."

Question: You said that you've already made the changes when do some of those changes start taking place?

David Brandon: "Well it has been ongoing. Certainly as we came to the conclusion about the CARA forms and the fact that they were way too late and it was taking way too long for them to be turned in and tracked, that was a system that we went quickly about the business of rebuilding. So we've rolled that out. The work on that began immediately upon finding that we had a problem and we rolled out a new system and the fact that these are a dynamic process is one of the things that we're going to do is turn that to an online web based system, which will make it more friendly for the athletes and make it easier to move the information quickly and that is something we are teeing up to have to have in place by the fall. These are ongoing efforts that we're making to change and improve the system so they do a better job of making sure that we're compliant."

Question: How limiting might this be to the players? For instance, if a player wanted to come to a coach and say, I want extra help, I want extra film room. Will they have to be told now that that can't happen?

Coach Rodriguez: "We've actually addressed that and had our compliance office call the NCAA in the last couple of weeks in that regard because that has happened with some of our players as far as they want it. Again, I have to do a great job of not only educating our staff but our players as well, because these guys have questions and these guys want to know what the rules are and what they can and cannot do and how we can help them in the future. We've addressed that and got an interpretation and we are going to continue to address that because one thing I said this earlier, our players want to be good. They've done a great job and they love this University and I do believe they love what's going on with the program and I'm proud of the way they've conducted themselves over this past year and in particular dealing with this investigation and I know they have a lot of questions with regards to what the rules are and how they can get help and how we can help them within the rules. We're actually looking into that daily and talking with our compliance officers in conjunction with the NCAA."

Question: You mention the CARA forms and how they weren't being done and they were way late; the audit that was done by the internal university audit department recognizes that some of them weren't turned in. Have they all now been turned in for the timeframe that was identified in the internal audit?

David Brandon: "I can't speak specifically to that part of the problem with saying all is one of the things that we had in our system was virtually a 100% participation in that process. So if two student-athletes hadn't turned in their CARA forms based on program that we implemented was incomplete. This CARA form system is something that we built and we designed. It is not an NCAA system. It is an internal system. We think in some cases we were so diligent in our efforts to come up with an incredibly thorough system we made it too cumbersome to manage and once a system becomes too cumbersome to manage it loses credibility and it starts to lag behind its original purpose. That's the situation that we are addressing."

Question: The first allegations in the Free Press talked about the summertime practice time; your saying get it ready for the fall, but it seems like some of the violations were in the summer; what is in place this summer, the same old system?

David Brandon: "We are very attentive to the fact that one of allegations that has been made by the NCAA involved the summer workout schedule where eight hours is the limit and in some cases we exceeded it. We will have the systems and controls in place to make sure that that does not happen. I can assure you of that."

Question: Dave what is the timeframe for doing the overlay of the internal investigation of the NCAA, when do you expect it to done?

David Brandon: "We go before the NCAA committee on infractions in 90 days and we're going to roll up our sleeves and get to work on this."

Mary Sue Coleman: "Dave, we have to respond in 90 days; we go in August."

David Brandon: "That's right, we go in August is when we go before them. Our response is due in 90 days and so that will be the activity that we get to between now and then."

Question: Within the next 90 days would you expect to decide what if any violations or punishment you would put on the program?

David Brandon: "Yeah envision a process where we look at our internal investigation, we look at these allegations and if there is anything that we do not understand about the allegations or anything about our internal investigation reveals a different outcome, we have the ability to communicate with the NCAA about that and we will."

Question: Do you anticipate making any staffing changes at all?

David Brandon: "Again, I do not want to talk about personnel situations at this point. I do not think that this would be the appropriate venue to get into that. We will take a look at our situation and as I indicated earlier, we will take whatever steps that we think are appropriate."

Question: Rich, you were pretty adamant about the violations back in August or September when you first addressed them, can you just reflect on everything now as a whole?

Coach Rodriguez: "As I mentioned earlier, compliance for every person on our staff is always going to be a high priority. It needs to be and we've talked quite a bit about that. That being said, we know there are processes and procedures that we have to look at and look at ways that we can be more efficient. I think one thing that will come out of this, particularly for us as a football staff is how can we be more efficient. How can we communicate better and make sure that everybody within our program and dealing with communication with compliance office and the people that are involved in helping us to track that are in line with the same thing. I think we've already begun that process and I think we're already better because of that but we'll continue to achieve and be better in compliance. I said back then about the rules and we take great pride and as a staff to continue to learn and get better and know the rules and certainly we'll keep working towards that end."


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