Ditto Stewart's case, although in that one the report goes to great lengths to explain that Stewart merely continued - and in some ways expanded on - the acts condoned by Rodriguez.
"[Stewart] mistakenly believed it was permissible for his graduate assistants to monitor and conduct summer skill development activities,'' the report said. "He was an assistant coach under [Rodriguez] and, after [Rodriguez] departed the institution, the activities ... continued.''
(By the way, neither Rodriguez nor Stewart are mentioned by name in the report, nor are any other individuals. Those two are referred to as "former head coach 1'' and "former head coach 2.'' How ridiculous is that?)
Oh, and there is also absolutely no mention of a sixth, secondary violation stipulated in the original charges. That would be West Virginia exceeding weekly time limits for practice and such by 75 minutes during an off week leading up to the team's 2006 game at Louisville.
I found that odd for only one reason, and it relates to the charges against Rodriguez at Michigan. In the Michigan case, Rodriguez was accused of exceeding time limits on a regular basis. As it turns out, the final report in that case cited just 65 hours, which sounds like a lot but pales in comparison to what had been alleged.
That was really the most significant difference between the two cases, and Michigan's self-imposed penalty for that was to reduce practice time by twice that much, or 130 hours. It stands to reason WVU might have been able to do the same and cut 21/2 hours of practice time, twice the alleged overage.
What's interesting is that among the self-imposed sanctions West Virginia endured was to cut those off-season hours by 46.25 hours in the winter, spring and summer of 2010. Did the school actually penalize itself too much?
Probably, and not just in that area. I doubt the NCAA would have looked upon the case differently had the number of recruiters on the road not been reduced for a week last fall and during the spring recruiting period this year. Some of the other changes that were made regarding limiting the activities of grad assistants and recruiting personnel might not have been necessary, either.
I'm sure it all served, however, to illustrate to the NCAA that the school had already been hard enough on itself and thus the NCAA didn't need to pile on. In the end, the strategy worked because the penalties West Virginia incurred aren't likely to hurt the football program one bit.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.