Sanctions to Harm Michigan Football
The University of Michigan has had one of the most dominate and respected college football teams since they began playing in 1879. Their dominance came into question, though, when Coach Lloyd Carr was replaced by Rich Rodriguez in the 2008 season. This year, their respect may also be compromised.
In May, the school admitted that the football program violated NCAA rules by exceeding limits on practice and training time. The school also imposed sanctions on the team, including two years probation. Rich Rodriguez and six others were reprimanded and a staffer was fired. The school plans on reducing playing time by 130 hours over the next to years as well.
These sanctions may seem detrimental, but they may not be all the school faces. The NCAA will hold a hearing August 13-14 with a decision coming 6-10 weeks later. NCAA sanctions would most likely be harsher and could involve things like scholarship reduction.
Whether or not the NCAA imposes more sanctions, Michigan football will be adversely affected. This is a team that, for the past several years, has been struggling to compete in the Big Ten. Reducing practice time could hurt a team trying to come together and play better.
NCAA sanctions would be even worse for the program. Not only would the team suffer from a loss of scholarships, but top recruits would probably say no to the program. The school would suffer and the team would probably play poorly for at least several more years.
These season will be a challenging one for a program that just started to get better under Rodriguez. Self-imposed sanctions will reduce practice time, and the NCAA ruling will come during the season, possibly causing some mid-season upheaval. For sure, Michigan will not be competing among the elite for the 2010 season.