UM's Rodriguez Defends His Program

ANN ARBOR, MI – University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez is defending his program against allegations the school violated NCAA rules.

The Detroit Free Press reported that players say the amount of time they spend on football training and practice greatly exceeds NCAA limits. Rodriguez says his staff knows the rules and obeys the rules. At an emotional press conference, Rodriguez said he understands the value of athletes spending time on their studies:

"And I as a coach have never hindered that," he said. "I've never and nobody on my staff would ever tell a young man to miss a class or miss a study session or miss a tutor appointment to do anything athletically. Never have and never will."

The school has launched an investigation into the allegations. The players spoke to the newspaper anonymously because they feared repercussions from their coaches.

The Wolverines begin their season this Saturday against Western Michigan. Players say the are focusing on the game and avoiding the drama in the press.