"We have also reduced the number of football graduate-assistant positions, restricted the duties of graduate assistants and noncoaching personnel, and restructured the student manager program. We may take additional actions.''
WVU President James Clements received the list of allegations -- the five major violations and one secondary violation -- from the NCAA on Wednesday and the school made it public Thursday.
The school has 90 days to respond, although the NCAA suggested that WVU could get an earlier hearing if the school responds in 76 days and gets onto the NCAA Committee on Infractions December agenda, rather than waiting until February.
Penalties for major violations could range from reduced practice time or staffing (which WVU has already done by reducing its graduate assistants) all the way to scholarship reductions, postseason bans and forfeitures of victories.
At the heart of the violations is the apparent practice established under Rodriguez and continued under Stewart of allowing or directing noncoaching personnel to work with football players in a coaching capacity.
Noncoaching personnel, according to the NCAA's charges, were generally graduate assistants assigned to video or academics, as well as student managers and full-time personnel assigned to noncoaching duties.
As a matter of substance, those allegations regarding the use of noncoaching personnel are the only ones leveled by the NCAA among the five major violations.
The second violation is an offshoot of that, in that it alleges that during the summers from 2005 through 2009 the school exceeded limits on when players can practice by permitting those noncoaches to conduct or observe voluntary off-season workouts. The third, fourth and fifth allegations -- those regarding the oversight of Rodriguez, Stewart and the athletic department -- are also products of the first.
The case closely parallels that of the investigation at Michigan, which began last September and then spread to West Virginia because of the involvement of Rodriguez in both programs.
The Michigan violations also center around the use of noncoaching personnel for coaching activities, but also include allegations that the school exceeded practice time limits during and outside the season and required athletes to participate in summer workouts for disciplinary purposes. There are no such allegations in the West Virginia report.
Michigan has accepted the NCAA's report and fought only one of the charges -- that Rodriguez failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance. The Committee on Infractions hearing in that case is scheduled for Aug. 14.
The sixth violation in the NCAA's list submitted to West Virginia is classified as secondary and occurred under Rodriguez. It alleges that during the week of Oct. 22-28, 2006, the football program exceeded by 75 minutes the allowable time for athletically related activities.
That was the off week prior to the game between unbeatens No. 3 WVU and No. 5 Louisville in Louisville, Ky.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.