Mark Snyder, a sports writer for the Detroit Free Pres wrote a column today basically just outlining some of the interesting key points from the deposition given by Rodriguez on April 21.
Among the more interesting issues, Rodriguez said that he was coerced to sign his $4 million buyout agreement in August 2007. Later in the deposition, he said "I do believe I was held hostage” by the “$4-million buyout.".
Also an interesting point of interest, is the first contact Michigan had with Rodriquez in December of last year. It was reported that Michigan's first in-person contact with Rodriguez took place on December 14 in Toledo. However, it is now clear that the first actual meeting took place two days prior between Michigan AD Bill Martin, and Rodriguez’s financial adviser, Mike Wilcox.
As usually the case when there are lawyers involved, and depositions taken...there are a lot of details. Too many details in fact to delve into on this blog. However, if you are so inclined, feel free to read the deposition yourself...word for word. (links to PDF files)
My take on this whole thing is pretty simple. WVU knew they had a hot coach. Alabama, Arkansas and Kentucky all expressed interest in him at one time or another. So much so that WVU wanted him to sign the aforementioned $4 million buyout last August. They knew he would be gone soon, and knew they had to cash in when he finally left. Rodriguez knew he was a hot commodity, and probably didn't want to sign it. He knew there were better places to be, and WVU was not his career dream. But he's a nice guy and didn't want to screw himself by not signing it. It was as clear of a career catch-22 as there can be.
When Michigan came calling, it was also clear that was the last straw. Whether Rodriguez just decided to say, "screw it...I'm leaving, sue me." or whether or not he honestly felt that he had an "out" and left after seriously thinking about it, is not known. I like to think that he had honest consultation from his lawyers and knew he would be ok. In his deposition he did say the following, according to the Free Press column...
Rodriguez said seeing that basketball coach John Beilein got his buyout clause reduced after leaving WVU for U-M made Rodriguez trust Garrison that his would be reduced, even though he signed a second amendment in August 2007. Rodriguez said he never asked Garrison to do it, but he “trusted” that Garrison would as he promised.Garrison is the new President of WVU, who took over right as this whole situation was unfolding in August last year.
So, by that quote...it sounds like people told him one thing before he left, and then were nowhere to be found when the sh*t hit the fan when he left for UM.
Its the typical "You're no longer one of us, so we hate you. Give us our money" routine. And Rodriguez is undoubtedly the central figure. But whether or not he's going to pay the full $4 million is yet to be seen. But this blogger thinks not one dime has been paid yet, nor will be in the foreseeable future.