Saturday, August 14, 2010 - Phil Callihan
Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon sure knows how to make an entrance.
Less than two weeks after taking over the job from Bill Martin, he said, "Let there be light," and just like that Michigan Stadium will host its first night game in 2011 versus the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Years of excuses as to why a night game at the Big House was logistically impossible were swept away in a matter of days. Brandon showed himself to be someone who doesn't accept excuses.
And that's why today's hearing with the NCAA was a challenge for the new leader.
Instead of cutting through excuses to get something done, he along with the rest of the Michigan contingent was there to make excuses as to why Rodriguez should not be found to "...have failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance," among his staff regarding adherence to NCAA rules. This was the only charge that Michigan chose to dispute after admitting to four violations in May.
Compared to turning night into day at the Big House deflecting the NCAA will be a bigger challenge.
I don't see how the NCAA can buy Michigan's argument. Either Rodriguez knew the rules and stretched them as practically every team in America does or he didn't know the rules and ignorance isn't an excuse.
The NCAA can't allow a coach to avoid sanctions by simply claiming he or his staff didn't the rules. It would a create a mountain-sized hole for any renegade coach to take advantage of.
The point is simple- if Rich Rodriguez didn't know, he should have. If his staff didn't inform him, he's responsible for that, too. The buck stops with him. End of story.
Now questions from the readers:
Do you hope that RichRod gets additional sanctions from the NCAA? You're showing your bias against him by saying the NCAA won't believe his explanation.
No, I would love for the NCAA to accept Michigan's excuses and then apologize for the inconvenience the investigation has caused over the last year. If David Brandon can convince the NCAA to move on without imposing additional sanctions it may be the greatest example of the Jedi mind trick since Obi-wan talked some renegade droids through a checkpoint a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
These violations are a black eye for the program. UM has admitted major violations and RichRod should be canned immediately...
Unfortunately, we at Michigan know something about "major" violations. Read up on the Fab 5/Ed Martin scandal to learn about serious major violations.
These violations are a joke...
That's not true either. Anytime the NCAA come in and you admit to four violations, spend nearly year investigating, not to mention a boatload of money (over $500K and counting) it's definitely SOMETHING. It's just not the end of life as we know it that some would have us believe.
Who cares what the NCAA thinks, they're out of touch...
The NCAA is judge, jury, and executioner in this case.
Here is footage of an actual NCAA "hearing":