The Free Press published a Q&A-style follow-up on the Michigan practice-gate investigation. Here’s a few of the items republished.
First, on who can take part in the interviews with the players:
- Who’s in the interview room?
Michigan compliance director Judy Van Horn, U-M’s outside counsel (Alabama-based lawyer Gene Marsh, or a colleague), and an NCAA investigator. A university lawyer also might be in attendance. Players can have someone accompany them to the interviews, including a lawyer.
On the anonymity of the players:
- The Free Press report was based in large part on interviews with former and current players who spoke on condition of anonymity because they said they feared repercussions if they criticized the program. Will the NCAA allow people to speak anonymously?
Players are not granted anonymity in interviews. They are expected to cooperate and risk losing eligibility if they don’t, or are caught lying. It is routine for interviews to be recorded. But there are strict limitations on what information is eventually released to the public because of federal confidentiality laws protecting students.
As for former players, if they are still playing college football they, too, can be compelled to testify. The NCAA can’t compel the testimony of former players no longer playing college ball, though.
Former Michigan receiver Toney Clemons, who has transferred to Colorado, has said publicly that the allegations are true and he will tell that to the NCAA if he is interviewed. He has not returned Free Press calls on whether he has been contacted.
On the potential length of the whole thing:
- How long will the probe take? Will the results be made public?
In 2004, the NCAA said the average time for cases to be resolved was 22 months. Typically, the NCAA releases no information on its investigations until the committee completes its findings. Sometimes schools, particularly public ones, release results of their internal investigations before the NCAA probe is complete.
Buckner said investigations had gotten a bit quicker in recent years.
"It can range from a year and a half to two years," he said. "That’s the average time."