In a story by the Associated Press, Rodriguez was complaining to Garrison the night before his resignation about his blown chance at a national championship (the final game loss to Pitt), and backlash that had added to his motivation to bolt. Part of the AP story...
As part of the $4 million lawsuit the university has filed over a buyout clause in the coach's contract, Garrison testified the two had a tense final meeting Dec. 15 -- one in which the president admits he may have raised his voice and one in which Rodriguez allegedly put his head in his hands and complained about how difficult his choice was.
Garrison also denied in the June proceeding he had misled Rodriguez into signing the contract that was in effect when he quit, disputing assertions he told the coach he didn't believe in and wouldn't enforce buyouts.
Nor did he suggest that if a dispute arose, the parties would probably settle for $2 million, Garrison testified.
He acknowledged, however, he told Rodriguez he might change his position in future contracts, and that he "would like the university to look at other options besides liquidated damages provisions, if they fit the circumstances."
Garrison also revealed he had a testy exchange with sports agent Mike Brown in the summer, before he'd assumed the presidency, in which Brown vowed to "shop, as he put it, Product Rodriguez on the open market."
Also, later in that same story...
Garrison acknowledged he was surprised that Rodriguez had "engaged in meaningful, apparent negotiations" with Michigan the day before and that he had to learn of those talks through the media. He also said it's possible he raised his voice as the conversation became more heated.
"I don't know if I yelled or not, but there was, there was one point in the conversation where I did become aggravated, and it was the point in the conversation when I expressed my strong feelings -- which I maintain today -- that there is great value in coaching at your alma mater, at your home university and in your home state."
I'd like to think that its a simple case of "he said, he said", and that pretty much sounds like what it is. I have no beef with WVU being upset they lost their coach, he was a great coach for them...but there has to be a point where you decide to move on and take the loss. Coaching moves are nothing new in college football. And if WVU wants to become a powerhouse, you're not going to lure top coaching talent to your school by throwing a fit when one of your own decides to take another job.
I'll chalk this up to another WVU-Rodriguez story that really doesn't define anything. Rodriguez is not going to be paying any of the $4 million to West Virginia, and West Virginia is just going to keep crying foul. But I say Rodriguez is much better off out of that program and into a much better situation in Ann Arbor.