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Saturday, August 29, 2009
U-M players allege program broke NCAA rules

By staff

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

A week before Year 2 of the Rich Rodriguez era is set to begin, Michigan players have made very serious allegations against the program regarding the time they spend in training and practice sessions.

Six current or former Michigan players, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Detroit Free Press that the program repeatedly violated NCAA rules by exceeding the allotted time for practice and offseason workouts.

The allegations include:

Many of the allegations concern Michigan strength and conditioning director Mike Barwis, who received a lot of positive press before the 2008 season, and Barwis' staff.

A former Michigan player told ESPN's Joe Schad that the Free Press report was accurate. 

The player, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions from fans, said in-season Sundays at the football facility lasted from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., including a one-hour lunch. That would be an 11-hour day. The NCAA daily limit is four hours, the weekly limit 20.

The same player said required offseason workouts included three-hour lifts on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and two hours of speed and agility on Tuesdays and Thursday. That's a total of 13 hours, with the limit at eight hours of required workouts.

This player said he would tell the Big Ten or NCAA what players were required to do and believes most of his former teammates would, as well.

Rodriguez and Michigan's compliance director Judy Van Horn issued statements to the newspaper, saying the program conforms to NCAA rules and does spot checks on practice.

"We have not had any reason to self-report any violations in this area with any of our sports," Van Horn said.

Needless to say, these are very serious allegations that could prompt investigations by the NCAA and the school.