Ten current or former Wolverine players from the 2008 and 2009 teams and the parents of four others have told the Detroit Free Press that the program regularly violates NCAA rules on training and practice sessions.
"We know the practice and offseason rules, and we stay within the guidelines," Rodriguez said in a statement issued to the newspaper. "We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules."
The players say otherwise. "It's one of those things where you can't say anything," one current player said. "If you say something, they're going to say you're a lazy person and don't want to work hard."
All the players gave lengthy, detailed and nearly identical descriptions of the program. They are routinely required to work out or practice more hours throughout the year than the NCAA allows. In addition, members of Rodriguez's staff have broken rules by monitoring offseason scrimmages.
NCAA rules allow eight hours for mandatory workouts during the offseason, but the players said they spent two or three times that amount on required workouts. Players are limited to 20 hours of football activities during the season, but they regularly exceeded that amount. On Sundays after games last fall, players spent at least nine hours on football activities. NCAA rules mandate a daily four-hour limit.
The players never reported their concerns to the athletic department's Compliance Services Office and had signed forms stating that rules had been followed.
"They were making us sign those — you'd get in trouble if you didn’t sign," one player on the 2008 team old the newspaper.
Several players declined to be interviewed at length but did not dispute the allegations when asked specifically about them. Other players appeared to be unaware of NCAA rules limiting the amount of time players can spend on football activities.
Freshman receiver Je'Ron Stokes, who arrived on campus in June, was asked about the offseason workouts. "Hooooo!" he said. "A typical week is working from 8 a.m. in the morning to 6 or 7 at night, Monday through Saturday."
The NCAA considers such violations to be of the major variety. If the governing body investigates and finds Michigan willfully and repeatedly broke the rules, it could trigger the loss of scholarships and practice time.
Related articles from the Free Press report can be found on this link.
Thanks to Harry!