After several months of hand wringing, nervous laughter, and some outright despair, the Michigan football program will finally go before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions this week and get this whole sordid "practicegate" affair behind it. Coach Rodriguez, Athletic Director David Brandon, and several key members of the Michigan staff are scheduled to depart today for Seattle, in order to prepare for Michigan's meeting with the Committee on Saturday. There's really little that hasn't already been said about this situation. Based on the reports from sources cited by the Detroit News and Ann Arbor dot Com, Michigan has positioned itself well to handle the proceedings and conducted a thorough investigation and self cleansing after the allegations broke.
At Big Ten Media Days Rodriguez faced a gauntlet of questions surrounding the investigation and how Michigan intended to deal with the situation. To his credit, Rodriguez answered every one of those questions forthrightly and to the extent he could answer them with the proceedings less than a month away. Rodriguez was mostly good humored about the questions, trying to crack the occasional joke when the opportunity presented himself, but it was obvious he'd rather have been talking about something else. Even so, he repeated over and over again that he was looking forward to Thursday, August 12, because it finally represented the time that he and Michigan could start to put this whole situation behind them.
For a lot of fans the anticipation leading up to the hearing has been tougher than the actual allegations facing Michigan. With the NCAA's propensity to dole out disproportionate punishment for things, who can blame them. But, thankfully, this whole thing finally comes to a head on Saturday. And when it's over we can finally get back to talking about what's important for this season.
Wins and losses.