Last Night's Winner: Toothless Self-Imposed SanctionsS

In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like Michigan's football program, which, when they're the ones suggesting the punishment, somehow, somehow got off easy.

Boy, it's been an exciting couple of years with Rich Rodriguez at the helm, hasn't it? No, not in terms of wins, but in terms of violations. (There have seemingly been more of the latter than the former.)

So today, the school copped to some violations, and offered some self-imposed discipline. Shockingly, they don't think their transgressions were bad enough to deserve any punishment that, you know, actually punishes them.

Let's recap: Michigan is accused of exceeding the limit on the number of coaches, and of exceeding the limit on practice time. Their punishment? Practice less, and fire the extra coaches.

Yes, their response to their admitted NCAA violations is to basically say "we won't do it any more." Um, that's not punishing yourself. That's just them stopping cheating.

[AD David] Brandon said the school decided not to take away scholarships or eliminate coaching positions.

"That's usually a result of something deemed to be an offense that created a competitive advantage," Brandon said. "Those kind of sanctions are also typically related to academic fraud, gambling, recruiting violations and extra benefits."

Those are all bad, bad things. No arguments here. But having an illegally large coaching staff, and an illegal amount of practice time are pretty blatant "competitive advantages." And taking away scholarships would be a pretty big competitive disadvantage. Maybe that's why they're not doing it.

One wonders about the timing. Investigators have been knee deep in USC's shit for a while now. Compared to that, Michigan is running a pristine program up there. The NCAA's going to accept this slap on the wrist, and move on to bigger fish.

U-M sanctions football program: Cut staff, practice time [Detroit News]