Rich Rodriguez-WVU Aftermath, and What it All Means

Details are now coming to light about the specifics on the whole RR-WVU ordeal. As of right now, Rich Rodriguez will pay $4 million to West Virginia over the next 3 years. This was the total amount stipulated in his most recent contract signed last summer.

Of the $4M, Rodriguez will only be required to pony up $1.5M. The remaining $2.5M will be paid by The University of Michigan, as well as any legal fees accrued over the last 6 months.

Any and all interest fees will be waived, and only the principal $4M will be due.

Now, what does this all mean?

If you're Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press, you may think this is a sign of why Rich Rodriguez is an evil man hell bent on job-searching all the time looking for that better deal. And while I disagree with Rosenberg, I see where he's coming from. But lets take a look at some of his larger points...
"This whole thing could have, and should have, been settled long ago. But RichRod was determined to fight West Virginia all the way to the bitter end. Anybody who has even driven past a law school knew he had no case, but that didn’t matter to Rodriguez."

"Martin should have told Rodriguez that this whole ordeal was embarrassing the university, and that the case was a lost cause. But Martin’s legacy is in Rodriguez’s hands, so he let his coach do whatever he wanted."
While I agree that in hind-sight, he may not have had much of a chance, given this nature of his beef with WVU, and the fact that they had a signed agreement that said RR would pay up, I can almost guarantee that University of Michigan lawyers were involved in the prolonging of the final agreement, and it was not just RR being stubborn. Thus, the legal fees all being paid for by Michigan.
We now know Rodriguez doesn’t believe in contracts. He signed an amended contract with West Virginia just four months before he left. He then claimed that the signed contract was not as important as a verbal agreement that preceded it — a laughable legal argument.
First of all, this paragraph just illustrates clearly that Rosenberg has a serious axe to grind. He obviously doesn't like Bill Martin, and is using RR to get to him.
"He can charm the media, which is nice. But those who have attended his practices say Rodriguez’s staff uses some of the foulest, most degrading language imaginable. I know coaches curse, and I’m no prude, but this goes way beyond a few dirty words. He belittles his players. This is a big part of why offensive lineman Justin Boren left the team. He felt his dignity was at stake."

"Of course, a lot of Michigan fans would rather think of Boren as a traitor who couldn’t handle tough coaching. They tell themselves Rodriguez is no different from Bo Schembechler, whose rigorous 1969 practices are part of the program’s legend. And there will always be some people who happily make that comparison, especially if their income comes from Michigan Football"
I will say with no reservations, in the game of football...a game of extreme competitiveness and very tough men, the best coaches are the ones that can clearly communicate with their players. If a coach has to drop the F-bomb or use some belittling gestures to get through, then that's what it takes. If you can't handle it (Boren), than take yourself down to Columbus where players are coddled and given new sports cars.

I'd rather have the tough coach who's players respect him, than the easy going Lloyd Carr's of the world who only raise their voice once in a blue moon (no disrespect to LC, you're the man!).

And by the way Michael Rosenberg, let's not start going after RR the man just yet. You can judge his legal battles and draw empty conclusions all day if you like, but let the man coach a game before you insult his methods. Stop trying to discredit the guy to make your point.

I'd love to know what reports today would have said about Schembechler in 1969 if he had to have dealt with the access that reporters get today. Half of the team quit or transferred. HALF!!!

In any comparison, Schembechler was worse! He was so tough on his players. But given that we do have the luxury of hind-sight...his methods worked. It's a formula that so many first year coaches have adopted over the years.

There's no doubt that Lloyd had gotten a little soft in recent years. You don't think that common knowledge around coaching circles? Rodriguez knew what he was getting into. He knew he had to rattle come cages. It's just that Boren's was rattled pretty hard, and he couldn't take it.
"Tell yourself what you want. I find it sad that the University of Michigan is paying a man millions of dollars a year to humiliate some of its students."
They pay the man millions to fill the football stadium 7 times a year, and keep the program clean. In high school, my coaches humiliated me, and it somehow made me a better football player and a better person. And they did it making millions less than RR, so does that make it right? Michael, its football!
"Rodriguez might win big at Michigan. But if he does, and he demands a big raise every year, or flirts with other employers, or ignores his contracts, or refuses to put the school’s interests ahead of his own, then Michigan fans should not be surprised. As we have seen in the last few months, this is who he is."
Yes, that's right, let's judge a man's entire career based on the toughest and most controversial 6 months of his life.

I will argue that Rodriguez is strikingly loyal. He's a WV boy, born a raised. He coach in WV for years, staying close to home. He's loyal to his family. When he arrived in Michigan, he brought every single one of his coaches with him.

I don't want to speculate, but I think RR had grown increasingly unhappy in Morgantown. From what it sounds like to me, the administration was very corrupt, and the athletic department started to get too political.

I don't blame him for wanting to get out. I'll admit it could've been done a little cleaner than it did, but in this world of high stakes, big business sports, I'm not surprised at the fallout.

Again, Rosenberg has a beef with Michigan and Bill Martin. Dissect Martin and Coleman and Michigan all you like...get in line. But let's keep the jury out on Rodriguez until a few games have been played. And Michael, grow a pair when you want to start talking tough about what it means to coach or play college football.


  1. Anonymous10:45 PM

    Amen to that! Rosenberg doesn't have a positive word in his limited vocabulary about anything. He seems to hate Michigan with a passion.

  2. Anonymous7:35 PM

    OK - Why jump all over Rosenberg?


    Rosenberg is a UM grad. A better question is - WHY does he have an axe to grind... or does he?

    Why don't you look at the wider picture... you have tunnel vision and are looking at the surface.

  3. Anonymous12:15 AM

    ...well said