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College football notebook

NCAA will join Michigan in probe

Associated Press / October 27, 2009

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The NCAA has joined the University of Michigan in an investigation into practices of college football’s winningest program.

University president Mary Sue Coleman announced yesterday the NCAA has given the school a notice of inquiry.

“It marks the beginning of an investigation,’’ NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn explained.

The NCAA’s enforcement staff often looks into allegations, according to Osburn, but only sends school presidents a letter of inquiry when an initial review determines a violation may have occurred based on credible information.

According to the letter sent to Coleman, the NCAA enforcement staff intends to complete the investigation by Dec. 31, 2009.

The school started looking into allegations brought against Rich Rodriguez’s program in August after a report in the Detroit Free Press cited anonymous players claiming the amount of time they spent during the season and in the offseason exceeded NCAA limits. The day after the Detroit Free Press published its report, Rodriguez passionately defended his program, insisting it follows the rules.

Coaches reprimanded
Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen were reprimanded by the SEC for criticizing officials, raising the number of coaches to be scolded by the league for knocking game officiating to three in the last week. For Kiffin, it was the second time this year he has been reprimanded by the league. SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Kiffin could be suspended if he violates conference rules again. Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson also weighed in on the officiating after he had some questions about calls made in his game against South Carolina last weekend . . . The Pac-10 has suspended a game official for missing a facemask call in Saturday’s game between Southern California and Oregon State. The play came on a hit that knocked an Oregon State player’s helmet off . . . ESPN broadcaster Bob Griese has been suspended one week for a remark he made about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz says the network has spoken to Griese and “he understands the comment was inappropriate.’’ During ESPN’s broadcast of the Minnesota-Ohio State game Saturday, a graphic was shown listing the top five drivers in NASCAR’s points race. Fellow analyst Chris Spielman asked where was Montoya, who is Colombian. Griese replied he was “out having a taco.’’ . . . Freshman Adam Robinson, the top running back for No. 7 Iowa, could miss Saturday’s game against Indiana because of an ankle injury . . . New Hampshire (6-1) moved up one spot to No. 7 in this week’s Coaches Football Championship Subdivision poll. Holy Cross (5-1) jumped five spots to No. 17, and Massachusetts (4-3) fell seven spots to No. 23 . . . Bentley, which improved to 8-1 with a 24-20 win over Assumption Saturday, moved into the AFCA Division II coaches’ poll at No. 25.