Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Some real predictions about Michigan

As usual, Mgoblog is way ahead of the curve when it comes to actual, insightful research about a controversial situation. Brian got ahold of some anonymous NCAA compliance blogger (apparently this does exist) who goes by Compliance Guy, and he got some real answers about Michigan's current situations and likely penalties. Click here to read it.

His summary is mostly in line with the expectations I laid out yesterday, although he believes the final punishment (self-imposed or from the NCAA) will be a bit more harsh. Points:

* The final finding from the Committee on Infractions will look pretty much the same as what was released yesterday. All the charges will probably be considered major violations, with the possible of exception of the practice time overage (which, ironically, is what the Free Press exaggerated to a ridiculous extent to start the entire investigation).

* None of the penalties will be considered severe major violations. The worst is actually the "failure to monitor" charge against the university for not keeping track of the practice logs or communicating accurate compliance information to the football program, which led to the apparent rule misinterpretations.

* The allegation regarding the lying grad assistant probably won't amount to anything as long as he's fired. It will follow the coach around, but it won't hurt the university.

* The likely penalties are:
  • A reduction in countable coaches (one coach will have to be reassigned to a noncoaching position);
  • A reduction in practice with a shorter spring season in 2011 and/or reduced hour limits;
  • Possibly recruiting restrictions, including limiting the number of coaches off-campus at any one time;
  • Possibly a reduction of around three scholarships for a year or two;
  • 3-4 years probation (longer due to repeat violator status)
  • I should have included the part about a reduction in countable coaches in my post yesterday, and probation was an obvious one. The thing I forgot about is the "repeat violator" status, which stems from the Ed Martin scandal that took place 20 years and two basketball coaches ago. Basically, it took the NCAA so long to build its case and finalize penalties that UM is still on probation. Lame.

    But anyway, there you go. A shorter spring practice (or one with reduced hours), one reassigned strength/position coach, a reduction of two or three scholarships for a year and three or four years of probation. I'm a little surprised that he expects as many as three scholarships to get cut, but that basically just means a few walk-ons who would have otherwise earned some financial help won't get it. I don't see anything with long-term ramifications or anything that'll have a real effect on the on-field product.

    And that's pretty much what I wanted, because as I said yesterday, there's no reason that these allegations -- especially compared with what's going on at some other schools (ahem USC/Alabama/Michigan State/Clemson) -- should result in anything serious.

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