Somewhere John Calipari is saluting Rich Rodriguez’s ability to be under investigation by the NCAA Committee on Infractions for potential (yeah, potential) violations at two schools at the same time. He goes before the committee for the Michigan allegations on August 14th. West Virginia has their day in December.

Earlier this spring, the Michigan athletic department sent a letter to Booster Club members and other fans about avoiding behavior that could get the school in trouble with the NCAA. Here’s the email in its entirety.

Maybe Michigan should spend more time worrying about Rodriguez and his poor record to date rather than their fans. He should receive email reminders every day telling him not to violate NCAA rules. It probably wouldn’t make a difference. He’d just delete the emails without reading them.

A closer look at the NCAA report on West Virginia shows that in violation 5(a) “Prior to the 2005-06 academic year through the fall semester of the 2007-08 academic year, the [WVU] compliance staff communicated concerns to the football staff regarding various individuals with interactions with football student-athletes during practice and game-day activities. However, individuals who were considered to be noncoaching sport-specific staff members continued to engage in impermissible activities… subsequent to the discussions.”

In layman’s terms, West Virginia’s compliance staff told Rodriguez he was breaking the rules and he ignored them. It is interesting to note that nowhere in the investigation does it mention the compliance staff expressing concern to Bill Stewart or his assistants-for better or for worse.

No one can be surprised that Rodriguez is in trouble for his action or lack thereof at West Virginia and Michigan. That’s like being surprised when the sun rises in the morning or Marion Barry gets in trouble with the law.

This situation was foreseeable but the desire to win overruled common sense. The football program is struggling and now the threat of NCAA penalties looms over the school. They’re enough to raise the red flags which should have been raised when Rodriguez was first considered for the job. Maybe it’s best to find a reason to hit the eject button and find a head coach with a whiff of integrity before he ruins Michigan football more than he has already. That’s the impartial observer in me. The Wisconsin fan says keep him at all costs. He’s doing a great job.

It’s not all bad at Michigan. Ann Arbor has two things going for it even if football is going down the toilet. Mayer Hawthorne and Poutine Burger. Let us know if you’ve had the burger and/or you’re willing to send us one with no Ex-Lax or roofies.

Here go the Mayer Hawthorne: Maybe So, Maybe No

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