MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University’s football program is under NCAA scrutiny and it probably has Rich Rodriguez to blame about it.
The school confirmed Tuesday that NCAA investigators had been on scene interviewing members of the administration and football staff about possible violations.
“The NCAA has met with individuals involved with the West Virginia University football program to identify any potential rules violations,” the unsigned statement said.
“The University has fully cooperated with the NCAA during this process.
“West Virginia University and its Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is committed to operating its athletic program in conformance with the legislation and policy of the NCAA and the Big East conference.
“No additional comments will be made regarding the matter at this time.”
A source says the inquiries, which have not yet risen to the point where they can be called an investigation, are linked to the situation with Rodriguez in Michigan, where the former WVU football coach’s program has been charged with committing five violations of NCAA rules and regulations.
The inquiry here was reportedly an effort to establish whether the Rodriguez regime in Michigan committed its violations as a one-time thing or if he was committing the same violations while coaching at WVU, thereby establishing a pattern of illegal behavior.
The source, however, noted that the inquiry is not necessarily limited to just the time Rodriguez was here, and anything illegal that that they can develop either during the Rodriguez time here or after can mushroom into a full-fledged investigation and potential penalties.
The investigation in Michigan is centered upon the amount of time players spent in football-related activities and on how quality-control personnel were used to oversee workouts.
The Michigan program was charged with five violations:
1. Breaking the rule that limits the number of coaches that may work with student-athletes, saying five quality-control officers – staff members not technically coaches – engaged in illegal coaching activities.