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University of Michigan To Investigate Allegations Against Football Program

Sports Betting News - August 31st, 2009 - Written by Jimmy

michigan wolverinesThe University of Michigan on Sunday announced that it is launching an investigation into allegations regarding their football program.  Past and former players are reporting that the Wolverine's regularly violate NCCA guidelines limiting the amount of time that can be spent on practice and training.  The announcement from athletic director Bill Martin follows an article in the Detroit Free Press reporting that players from the 2008 and 2009 teams state that the amount of time spent during the offseason and regular season greatly exceeds the allotted time by the NCAA.  The university said it would have more to say later and Martin said the school has reached out to the Big Ten and NCAA.  On Sunday, Big Ten compliance officials began interviewing players and officials in Ann Arbor.

Former wide receiver Toney Clemons, who has since transferred to Colorodo, has reported to ESPN that all of the allegations made against the program are correct."The allegations are true," Clemons said. "Nothing is fabricated or exaggerated in that story. I was there on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. depending on if guys needed treatment. You were there daylight to nighttime."

The NCAA has a strict policy on the amount of time athletes can spend on practice and training.  Players are allowed to spend eight hours in mandatory workouts during the offseason. During the season, there is a weekly limit of twenty hours.  One current player has stated that he worked out twice the amount of allotted time during the offseason and even asked the strength coach why it seemed so excessive.  He was told that the workout program was given approval  by the NCAA.

The University can give the argument that many activities do not count toward the allotted time.  One such activity could be voluntary workouts not supervised by the coaching staff.  The Free Press reported that five of the ten interviewed all gave similar stories regarding the way the program was run and that none disputed the allegations.  The players also added that they were required to sign forms saying that NCAA rules had been followed, but failed to tell the university's compliance department regarding their concerns.  In addition, one of the players said that by not signing the form, they would force disciplinary action.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez denies the allegations made and stated that the program has followed the NCAA guidelines. "We know the practice and offseason rules, and we stay within the guidelines. We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules," Rodriguez said in a written statement to the newspaper.  The Wolverine's went 3-9 last season in Rodriguez's first season as head coach and missed the postseason for the first time in 33 years.

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