Much has been made of the NCAA's recent inquiry into the Rich Rodriguez tenure as head coach at West Virginia. According to officials at WVU, the NCAA had contacted them about possible rule violations that might have occurred under his watch.
It should be noted that this was WVU that released this information, NOT the NCAA. It should also be noted that the officials at WVU did not identify exactly WHEN the NCAA contacted them. For all we know the NCAA could have sent a fax to the athletic department back in September asking for information. And it wasn't until now that WVU "officials" deemed it necessary to tell the world. The fact is, there's a lot we don't know, and will never know about this.
But, some much needed light has been shed on this situation on the last 24 hours, and we feel it's prudent to inform the loyal MBN readers of what we do know.
As it turns out the NCAA is simply doing it's due diligence. When the practice-gate scandal broke at Michigan last August, West Virginia took the initiative to check it's own records to see if there was any similar snafus in their practice logs. A move in which I'm sure the NCAA was more than eager to discuss with them.
Mitch Vingle writes in the Charleston Gazette [Link]:
WVU officials identified this as a concern back in September of 2009, when the UM-Rodriguez story first broke. Our Dave Hickman caught up with athletic director Ed Pastilong, who indicated then his big house was in order. He suggested he and then-compliance man Brad Cox almost babysat Rodriguez's practices, almost obsessed over record-keeping.So, safe to say that this is a non-story. Just another chance for bitter WVU fans and Michigan Rodriguez haters to do what they do best.
So when the news broke, they double-checked their records and smiled.
"We looked into it,'' Patrick Hairston, WVU's assistant for compliance, said. "We're very comfortable no NCAA rules were broken."
The "investigation" or so it's called, probably didn't initiate from WVU, but is just a continuation of the actual NCAA investigation that was ongoing in Ann Arbor, in-which West Virginia got wrapped up in. And it completely makes sense that the NCAA would go sniffing around down there to see if this problem was something that could be traced back to Rich's tenure.
Turns out, there was no smoking gun in Morgantown.
Michigan AD Dave Brandon discussed his feelings about Rodriguez:
"There is nothing new that would cause me to change my position," Brandon said in a statement released by the university, "Rich will coach our team this fall."Sorry Rich Rod haters. Nothing new to see here.