Michigan president sidesteps football audit questions

Published Nov. 20, 2009 6:59 a.m. EST

Associated Press

Ann Arbor -- University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman did not make herself available to answer questions following a Board of Regents meeting Thursday in which an internal audit of the school's football program practice time was on the agenda.

Coleman quickly slipped through a door after the meeting was adjourned. Spokesman Kelly Cunningham said Coleman would not address an ongoing NCAA investigation into whether Michigan's football program exceeded mandated practice limits last year.

"She supports the coach and she supports the football team," Cunningham said.

Cunningham also said Coleman would not address any other athletic-related matters.

The university released an internal audit earlier this week showing the football program failed to complete logs detailing how much time players participated in Countable Athletically Related Activities.

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez does not fill out the forms himself. The forms are not required by the NCAA but are part of the school's compliance process. Rodriguez was told that the logs had not been filed by the university's audit office July 24.

In August, The Detroit Free Press reported that a handful of Michigan players said they had been required to practice more than the 20 hours per week that the NCAA allows.

During Thursday's meeting, Michigan Regent Andrew Richner said the board had been notified of the NCAA investigation, but had been instructed by counsel not to comment.

Rodriguez said Wednesday that he had taken care of the issue once he was made aware of it. He declined to elaborate, saying he would address the situation once the investigation is completed.

"The only thing I can tell you is that the log process for those forms was corrected as soon as I learned of the issue," Rodriguez said. "Anything else, I'll refrain from talking about because I have to."