Despite a rather ominous issue looming directly over the football program Tuesday, it was a rather normal day in the life of the Mountaineers. Yes, the NCAA was in town to talk to people about the Rich Rodriguez Days, but that was weeks ago and hardly important Tuesday. It matters, sure, but not as much as it did right win and soon after the interview occurred.
To that, WVU feels pretty good, pretty isolated. The school is a supplement to an investigation, not the subject. Having said that, there is reason to be concerned.
When the NCAA knocks on your door, it’s looking for something specific — and in this case, when it’s going back in a person’s career, it’s amplified — and it gets to look at everything.
I get that WVU compliance was something of a babysitter at early Rodriguez practices and I understand they did everything in their power to be legal and to adhere to rules. I’m confident it’s correct.
Yet WVU can say that all you want. People can remind you that they told you that all they want. The NCAA doesn’t read newspapers.
What’s true, if even only remotely possible, is the NCAA finds something interesting here. It likely has evidence it applied to its inquisition at WVU. It may know something WVU did not know. Again, a remote possibility, but nevertheless a possibility.
Say the NCAA can prove Rodriguez did at WVU what he’s done at Michigan. There is then a pattern and it looks really bad for P-Rod and for UM, but there’s also an implication with which WVU must deal.
If bad stuff happened at WVU, then WVU would probably have its oversight and institutional control critiqued and corrected.
One more time: Remote. Possible.
If you’re truly worried about this, the NCAA addresses this in its bylaws. Sorry, this was edited out of today’s story.
If the NCAA were to find Rodriguez guilty of more mistakes at WVU, it’d not only add to the case at Michigan, but also reflect on WVU and if its oversight and institutional control was at an acceptable NCAA standard.
If not, the NCAA could issue a “notice of allegations,” but alleged violations are subject to a statute of limitations. NCAA bylaw 32.6.3 limits the scope to four years from the date the NCAA notifies an school. Rodriguez resigned from WVU Dec. 16, 2007, so the four-year window would be limited.
There are three exceptions for major infractions, including “allegations in a case in which information is developed to indicate a pattern of willful violations on the part of the institution or individual involved, which began before but continued into the four-year period.”