Michigan failed to keep mandatory logs

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- College football's winningest program just took another hit off the field.

The University of Michigan released embarrassing details of an internal audit Monday that discovered Rich Rodriguez's team failed to file forms tracking how much time players spent on football during the 2008 season -- his first -- and the offseason last spring.

Perhaps coincidentally, the NCAA and the school are investigating the program about similar issues. The NCAA sent the school's president a notice of inquiry last month, saying it plans to complete its investigation by Dec. 31.

"I don't know what the NCAA is going to find," athletic director Bill Martin said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, before the audit was released. "I do know this is not academic fraud or gambling.

"I'm not involved with the investigation. It's being handled by our general counsel. We're the ones who picked up the phone to call the NCAA about this."

The audit was completed months ago, but the details surfaced during Ohio State week because they are part of the agenda for Thursday's board of regents meeting.

Rodriguez has said he and his coaches know and follow NCAA rules.

University spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham said Rodriguez would not make a statement about the audit, saying he and school officials are limited in what they can say because of the ongoing investigation.

"The president and the [regents] take very seriously all audits conducted at the university," the school said. "We will take all necessary steps to insure the integrity of all of the university's programs."

Michigan's season has been filled with challenges on and off the field.

The Detroit Free Press, citing anonymous football players, reported in August that Michigan was exceeding NCAA limits regarding practices and workouts.

The Wolverines started the season with four straight wins, but have stumbled and now have lost six of seven.

If Michigan doesn't upset the Buckeyes (No. 10 BCS, No. 9 AP) on Saturday at home, it will fail to quality for a bowl for a second straight season under Rodriguez after enjoying a postseason streak that lasted three-plus decades.

The audit looked into compliance areas for several Michigan teams, including the football and men's basketball programs. Auditors reviewed practice logs for a week during the season and a week in the offseason.

It found "a concern" that the football program failed to file monthly Countable Athletically Related Activities forms created by the school to track how much players work out and practice as a tool to comply with NCAA rules.

"The regular season forms still have not been submitted," the office of university audits wrote to Rodriguez in a letter dated July 24. "All other varsity sports submitted their CARA forms timely."

The report did not find issues of noncompliance, but acknowledged the practice logs for football were not available to be reviewed when the audit was conducted. The forms are now turned in on a timely basis, according to the school.

"The audit does not identify where the system broke down," a school statement read, "and it did not identify any other areas of concern with respect to the football program."

Rodriguez signed a six-year deal last year worth $2.5 million per season.

According to his contract, Rodriguez can be fired for cause if the NCAA, the Big Ten or the school determines he has committed a major violation of NCAA rules or he has intentionally committed any other type of violation of NCAA rules.

If the school completes a four-step process to fire Rodriguez for cause, it "shall be without liability to Rodriguez," according to the contract he signed Oct. 24, 2008.