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NCAA charges West Virginia of violations

West Virginia, a few seasons removed from Rich Rodriguez, has seen their former coach come back to bite them in the form of NCAA violations. Today West Virgina athletic director Oliver Luck confirmed that an NCAA investigation in to the Mountaineer program is focused on student managers, graduate assistants and other non-coaching staff and the school had been handed a notice of violations [PDF file] by the NCAA.

The violations being accused of West Virginia by the NCAA allegedly started in 2005, Rodriguez’s final year with the program before leaving to take over at Michigan. The time period also covers the following two seasons during which Bill Stewart was in charge. The allegations say that non-coaching staff members acted in a coaching manner during off-season practices.These staff members would also sit in on meetings and analyze video of practices and opposing team game films, which is against NCAA rules. Even after Rodriguez had moved on and Stewart had taken over, West Virginia is being accused of failing “to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program.” That is one of the strongest statements the NCAA can make about a program.

Luck addressed the NCAA violations in a press conference earlier today and released a copy of his statement on the school’s website. “NCAA compliance is essential to our athletic success,” Luck stated. “Our commitment to rules compliance is clear: Nothing short of perfection is acceptable. If we fall short of that standard, in any way, we will acknowledge it and remedy it.”

You can read the list of allegations against West Virginia using this PDF file. West Virginia has not been punished by the NCAA at this point and they will be given time to file a full response and report to the NCAA before any judgments are decided upon by the NCAA.

The charges against West Virginia are similar to what was handed to Michigan under the helm of Rodriguez, which continues to leave a dark cloud over the reputation of the head coach.  So the question is what kind of impact this investigation at West Virginia will have on Rodriguez’s position at Michigan and how might this affect an ongoing investigation at Michigan? Michigan has previously imposed their own sanctions for their violations but the NCAA has yet to make a final call to accept Michigan’s proposal or to add on to the punishment.

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.