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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan has cut ties with hockey coach Mel Pearson.

The school announced its decision on Friday. Pearson’s contract expired after last season and he had been an at-will employee, pending a review of the program.

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An investigation, obtained by MLive among others, that was given to the school in May revealed in part that Pearson pressured student-athletes to lie about COVID-19 contact tracing during the 2020-21 season and fired volunteer coach Steve Shields for raising concerns.

“This decision has been weighed heavily and for some time,” athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement released by the school. “We welcomed an independent third-party review into the climate and culture of our program before furthering our assessment in lockstep with campus leadership.

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“Our student-athletes having a positive and meaningful experience is of paramount importance, and a clear expectation within our department is that all employees and staff are valued and supported. I deeply appreciate and value the many individuals who came forward throughout this review. Today’s announcement reflects the seriousness with what we’ve heard and the values we hold dear at Michigan.”

The Wolverines did not play in the 2021 NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19 protocols. With a team led by NHL first-round draft picks, they were 31-10-1 last season and lost to Denver in the Frozen Four.

Pearson was 99-64-16 at Michigan. He previously coached at Michigan Tech.

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‘Allow him to go’ – Wayne Rooney tells Man Utd to let Cristiano Ronaldo quit – and tells them who to sign as new No9

WAYNE ROONEY has urged Manchester United to let Cristiano Ronaldo quit Old Trafford - and tells them what type of striker they should be looking for.

The former Derby manager struck up a glorious partnership with Ronaldo during their time together at the club during the noughties.

2Ronaldo has made clear his ambition to play for a club in the Champions League this seasonCredit: EPA 2Rooney and Ronaldo used to terrify Premier League defences between 2006 and 2009Credit: Getty

Now the new DC United boss has cast his eye over the troubles of his former teammate, who had been agitating to leave the club earlier this summer during his second spell in Manchester.

United have held firm and they have been helped by the fact huge clubs like Chelsea and Atletico Madrid have turned down the chance to bring in the 37-year-old.

Uncertainty hangs over the forward ahead of Erik ten Hag's Premier League opener today against Brighton, especially following Ronaldo's pre-season antics.

But Rooney has suggested it will be in both party's interest to let him leave.

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He wrote in his Sunday Times column: "United are doing everything to bring Frenkie de Jong in and they could certainly do with a midfielder. A No. 9 too

"I think United should let Cristiano Ronaldo go.

"It’s not that Ronaldo can’t play in a Ten Hag team. He can play in any team. Ronny will always score you goals.

"But my personal view is that United aren’t ready to challenge for the title now, so the aim has to be to build a team that can win the league in the next three to four years, and you have to plan for that."

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Rooney, 36, adds that United should be looking for a no.9 who they can build on over the long-term.

He said: "If the reports are true that Cristiano wants to leave the club, then United should allow him to go and get a No. 9 in who is going to be there for the next three or four years and really help them build a team that can be successful.

"Ten Hag has to be given time to do it."

United have been linked to multiple strikers in the last few weeks of this transfer window.

Marko Arnautovic has been tipped with making a shock switch to Manchester from Bologna.

The former West Ham forward, 33, has scored 15 goals in 34 appearances in Serie A since arriving at the beginning of last season.

Ten Hag's team have also been been linked to Stuttgart star Sasa Kalajdzic.

He is the tallest striker in the Bundesliga at 6ft, 6in and the Premier League side have reportedly held "initial talks".

There's also the chance that United may just settle with what they have following Anthony Martial's encouraging pre-season.

But he won't be involved against the Seagulls today due to his injury, opening the door for a Ronaldo appearance.

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  • ‘Allow him to go’ – Wayne Rooney tells Man Utd to let Cristiano Ronaldo quit – and tells them who to sign as new No9