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Wolverines escape big sanctions

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The NCAA handed Michigan a third year of probation for exceeding the allowed amount of time for practice and training, but it declined to sharply punish coach Rich Rodriguez or his program.

Rodriguez had been charged with failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance in the program — an allegation with potentially serious penalties — but the NCAA reduced that charge to a failure to monitor the details.

The lower charge was "more appropriate," Paul Dee, chair of the Division I infractions committee, said Thursday: "He was cleared with respect to the failure to promote-the-atmosphere (allegation). Some of the things that did occur did not get all the way to the coach."

The NCAA also ordered Rodriguez to attend a rules seminar but otherwise said the school had punished itself appropriately.

Michigan announced in May that its self-imposed sanctions included probation for two years and reduced training time by 130 hours over two years, double the amount of time by which the Wolverines exceeded NCAA rules.

"Everybody has accepted responsibility that needed to," Rodriguez said, "including myself."

Utah AG meets with feds over BCS

WASHINGTON — Utah's attorney general met with Justice Department officials to discuss a possible federal investigation into the BCS.

"They are doing their due diligence," Mark Shurtleff said. "They had done their homework."

The Justice Department declined to comment.

In a January letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who asked for an antitrust review, the department said it was considering several steps that would review the legality of the BCS. Hatch's involvement came after Utah went 12-0 in the 2008 regular season but was not picked for the BCS title game, which involved Florida and Oklahoma. That's because the Mountain West Conference champ does not have a guaranteed spot in the BCS.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Thursday it was "hard to imagine a bigger waste of taxpayer money than to involve the government in college football."

Next season, Utah begins play in the Pac-10, which has an automatic bid. But Shurtleff said that isn't deterring him.

"This has never been for me to get the University of Utah bragging rights," he said.

North Carolina: Chancellor Holden Thorp publicly supported coach Butch Davis amid an NCAA investigation into agent-related benefits and academic misconduct. In comments to UNC system administrators, Thorp said there is no evidence Davis was aware of or involved in any of the issues the NCAA investigating.

Rutgers: Defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, paralyzed after making a tackle Oct. 16 against Army, was hospitalized with a high fever a few hours after being admitted to a spinal cord rehab center. But doctors said fevers, pneumonia and urinary tract infections are common for the recently paralyzed.

Late kickoff return boosts Hokies

BLACKSBURG, Va. — David Wilson returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown with 2:23 left to lift No. 20 Virginia Tech past Georgia Tech 28-21. The Hokies (7-2, 5-0 ACC) have won seven in a row and have a two-game lead over second-place Miami in the Coastal Division. "I was excited because they had been avoiding me (on kickoffs)," said Wilson, whose 15-yard run in the fourth tied it at 14. "When I saw green, I just put the jets on."

The Yellow Jackets (5-4, 3-3) lost quarterback Joshua Nesbitt to a broken right forearm late in the first half when he tried to make a tackle after an interception at the Hokies goal line.

Tevin Washington hit Tyler Melton for 42 yards on his first play, setting up a touchdown that put Georgia Tech up 14-7. But the Hokies rallied for 21 points in the fourth to take the lead. Rashad Carmichael's interception in the end zone with eight seconds left sealed it.

Wolverines escape big sanctions 11/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 5, 2010 1:31am]

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