Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez and athletic director Dave Brandon both released statements this afternoon following West Virginia's announcement that it had received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA.
The NCAA is looking into potential major rule violations at the end of Rodriguez's tenure at West Virginia -- and the first two years under his successor, Bill Stewart -- that mirror the alleged violations against Rodriguez's program at Michigan.
In their own words ...
Rich Rodriguez: "I have always taken compliance seriously and have sincerely felt our program was very open and transparent. I regret any mistakes that were made or rules that were misinterpreted. Any errors certainly weren’t made intentionally. I openly discussed my past practices with NCAA investigators and will continue to cooperate fully during this process. I have redoubled efforts with my staff and our compliance team to improve several processes, strengthen communications, and work to ensure these mistakes won’t happen in the future. We have a tremendous program and an exceptional group of student-athletes, and I look forward to an exciting and successful football season."
Dave Brandon: "We’re not part of the inquiry at WVU and we have limited access to the information pertaining to this investigation. We’re certainly paying close attention to the situation, but we all need to let the process -- and the facts -- unfold before we draw any conclusions. I’m not going to speculate about any aspect of the outcome. I've already said Rich is our coach this fall and WVU’s announcement does not change that fact. Our focus is on our program and the start of the football season.
So regardless of Rodriguez's troubles with the NCAA, he will be on the sideline, as expected, on Sept. 4 when Michigan opens the season against Connecticut. As I've said all along, this situation isn't good for Rodriguez, but his ultimate fate will be decided with wins and losses.
He needs to win this fall to be Michigan's coach in 2011. We all know that. There's just a little more urgency now.