Question of the day: Is Michigan out of control, or just a typical program?
If the allegations against the Michigan football program are true, does that make them an out-of-control renegade program or pretty much like most programs? Reporters from across the Tribune family of newspapers will answer this question throughout the day. And we are interested in your comments too, so when you are done reading, chime in!
Andrea Adelson, Orlando Sentinel:
So Michigan football players allegedly exceed NCAA limits when it comes to time spent on their sport. How does this make the Wolverines different from the rest of college football? It doesn’t. According to an NCAA report released last year, selected football players surveyed in Division I-A said they spent an average of 44.8 hours a week on their sport. That included practice, training, games and the training room. The NCAA allows 20 hours a week of mandatory work. ESPN analyst Andre Ware, who won a Heisman Trophy at Houston said Tuesday, “As a former player, I couldn’t even fathom 20 hours a week of football time. It would be impossible.” Now just because everyone is violating rules doesn’t absolve Michigan or Coach Rich Rodriguez. If they are found guilty, they must be punished. But this should serve as a wake-up call to the NCAA to seriously look at rules that everyone knows are routinely flaunted.
More after the jump
Chris Dufresne of The Los Angeles Times
What has allegedly transpired in Ann Arbor in recent months is less an indictment of Michigan football and more a black mark on the already controversial hiring of Rich Rodriguez. Michigan football has been built on a foundation of years. It can't be torn down in days. This isn't a systemic problem, it's a now problem. Michigan has become the winningest program in college football history without ever getting hit with major NCAA violations. What they're talking about in Ann Arbor were parking tickets in the old Southwest Conference. The "too-much-practice-time" violations alleged here are probably violated everywhere with the old coaches' "wink" of all this being "voluntary." If there's a paper trail here tying RichRod to the letter of NCAA law, though, Michigan may get sent to the time-out corner. The bigger problem may have been hiring a coach who knowingly violated NCAA rules and then committed the much more egregious crime of going 3-9 his first year.
Photo: Michigan football Coach Rich Rodriguez addresses the media on Monday. Credit: Andre J. Jackson / Associated Press