Ask University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez about Mike Barwis, and the superlatives will flow.
“He’s my guy,” Rodriguez told the Free Press in the summer of 2008. “I won’t go anywhere without him.”
Barwis has been Rodriguez’s strength and conditioning coach for six years — four at West Virginia University, two at Michigan. The 46-year-old Rodriguez, entering his second season at U-M, has said Barwis might be even more important than Rodriguez’s assistant coaches because of all the time Barwis spends working with players.
But how much time is too much?
The NCAA, which governs college athletics, has strict limits on how much time coaches can require players to spend on their sport. But Rodriguez’s team has routinely broken the rules since he took over in January 2008, people inside the program told the Free Press.