All that extra practice, and they still were an awful football team.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- The University of Michigan announced Sunday that it has launched an investigation into allegations that its football program regularly violates NCAA rules limiting how much time players can spend on training and practice.
The announcement from Michigan athletic director Bill Martin came after a Detroit Free Press
article in which players from the 2008 and 2009 teams said the amount of time they spend on football during the season and in the offseason greatly exceeds NCAA limits. The players spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity because they feared repercussions from coaches.
"We are committed to following both the letter and the intent of the NCAA rules and we take any allegations of violations seriously," Martin said in a written statement.
"We believe we have been compliant with NCAA rules, but nonetheless we have launched a full investigation of the allegations in today's newspaper," he said.
Martin also said that the school had reached out to both the Big Ten and the NCAA about the allegations. He said the university would have more to say after its inquiry was done.
Coach Rich Rodriguez and the university's compliance director, Judy Van Horn, have denied that the football program violated NCAA rules.
Those regulations allow players to spend eight hours a week on mandatory workouts during the offseason. However, players told the Free Press
that they have spent two to three times that amount on required workouts.
The players also said the amount of time they spent on football activities during the season exceeded the weekly limit of 20 hours and often exceeded the daily limit of four hours.
They also said quality-control staff often watched seven-on-seven offseason scrimmages that are supposed to be voluntary and that only training staff are allowed to attend.
Michigan was 3-9 last season -- Rodriguez's first year as head coach of the Wolverines -- and did not make it to the postseason, ending a 33-year streak.
Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.