The University of Michigan admitted yesterday to a series of violations in its storied football program, saying it doesn't believe the problems related to practice time and coaching activities are enough to warrant major punishment from the NCAA.
Athletic director David Brandon characterized the disclosure as one of relief.
"I don't think this is a black eye," he said. "This is a bruise."
But when Michigan is placed on probation sometime later this year, it will be for the first time in the more than 100 years of program history. Michigan released more than 150 pages detailing its investigation and self-imposed sanctions it hopes will satisfy the NCAA, which will hold a hearing on the case in August. A final decision on NCAA penalties could take months, but coach Rich Rodriguez is not worried about that distracting his players.
"I think our players are very excited about the season and our staff is excited," he said.
The sanctions included a recommendation for 2 years of probation for the NCAA's winningest football program, which is 8-16 in two seasons under Rodriguez. The school also said seven people, including Rodriguez, had been reprimanded and another was fired.
The school said it should not be tagged as a repeat offender despite a 2003 scandal in the basketball program - a key argument, since the designation would almost certainly mean harsher penalties from the NCAA.
Michigan said it will cut back practice and training time by 130 hours over the next 2 years, starting this summer. It also trimmed the number of assistants - the so-called quality-control staff - from five to three and banned them from practices, games or coaching meetings for the rest of 2010.
In other college news:
* Twins David and Travis Wear will attend UCLA this fall after leaving North Carolina. The sophomore forwards will redshirt next season and have 3 years of eligibility remaining.
* The NCAA said it will no longer accept course credit from two online schools based in Utah and Illinois as part of a move to strengthen its eligibility standards for potential college athletes.
* Rowan runners Jenn Rawls (5,000 meters), Jena Peacock (3,000 steeplechase) and Tiffany Chamberlain (400 hurdles) qualified for the NCAA Division III Women's Track and Field Championships tomorrow through Saturday at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.
* La Salle's Mike Lake was selected as the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.
* Formula One racing is returning to the United States in 2012 with a long-term deal for the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, on a track built for the event.
* Spanish media reports say Olympic silver medalist cyclist Antonio "Toni" Tauler tested positive for a banned blood booster before the World Track Championships in March.