- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (AP) - Brad Labadie has resigned as director of football operations at Michigan, saying the move is unrelated to an ongoing NCAA investigation into the storied program.

Labadie and coach Rich Rodriguez were among the seven people who received a letter of reprimand from the school for playing a role in what the NCAA says were major rules violations. Labadie was blamed for failing to correctly and promptly file forms tracking hours players spent with the team.

Labadie said his resignation had “absolutely nothing to do with” the investigation.

“I’ve been looking for a move out of athletics since our third child was born a couple years ago,” he said Wednesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. He said he has accepted a job as an account representative for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

“It was a hard decision, but I’m excited about it and I’m very thankful for my time at Michigan,” he said.

Athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed the move Wednesday and stressed it was made for family reasons.

“I don’t think people should think his departure has anything to do with the NCAA investigation,” Brandon said.

An NCAA hearing on the case is planned for Aug. 13-14 in Seattle.

The school admitted in May it had committed a series of violations related to practice time and coaching activities.

The school plans to cut back football practice and training time by 130 hours over the next two years, starting this summer _ double the amount of time it said it exceeded NCAA rules. It also trimmed the number of assistants _ the so-called quality-control staff _ from five to three and banned them from practices, games or coaching meetings for the rest of 2010.

The only NCAA accusation the school strongly disagreed with was the one that charged Rodriguez with a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program. Brandon has said it would be “a significant leap” to say Michigan gained a competitive advantage from the violations and the school shouldn’t be tagged as a repeat offender despite a 2003 scandal in the basketball program.

Both will be key arguments at the hearing because either one would almost certainly lead to harsher penalties from the NCAA.

Michigan has received nearly $500,000 in bills for legal and other expenses related to the investigation and so far, the Veritas Insurance Co. has paid all invoices.

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