According to the Detroit Free Press, the University of Michigan football team regularly violates NCAA rules that limit practice times. Coach Rich Rodriguez was distraught and even fought back tears yesterday when reporters asked him about the allegations.
Boo freakin' hoo.
Numerous players from the 2008 and 2009 teams spoke of violations such as coaches monitoring offseason scrimmages and nine-hour practice sessions. The players agreed to speak only if their identity was not revealed, fearing repercussions from the coaches. A guilty verdict by the NCAA could result in sanctions against the football program for the first time in its history.
Do I think these allegations are true? Absolutely. However, I can tell you for a fact that this goes on elsewhere.
About 15 years and 70 pounds ago, I entered the world of college baseball. Weightlifting, running, and practice were just something you did. I can remember rolling out of bed for 6 AM batting practice, sleeping through several classes, and practicing again that night. This did not include "voluntary" training such as running or extra hitting.
The difference with the Michigan situation is how the accusations came to the forefront. College kids naturally complain to each other about practice, but what is said in the locker room usually remains there.
Coaches monitoring offseason practices and voluntary workouts that are not really voluntary is a common occurrence in college athletics. Athletes using the media to accuse their coaches of NCAA rules violations is a new revelation.
Rodriguez has obviously failed to win over everyone since coming to Michigan. A number of players have even left the program since he took over for Lloyd Carr. This story shows what a train wreck the program has become.
The Wolverines are a young team in need of leadership, not a public feud between players and coaches.
If these allegations are true, all the extra work certainly has not helped.