FanDuel - WFBC

December 16, 2007

Rodriguez leaves West Virginia: Michigan has hired West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez as its next football coach following a search that featured two other top prospects deciding to stay put.

posted by lil'red to football at 03:56 PM - 61 comments

As a WV alumni and fan, I can't tell you how much this angers me.

posted by Punkrockrat at 05:48 PM on December 16

Does Rodriquez have any ties to Michigan other than the big paycheck he will be getting from the Blue?

posted by jc at 06:02 PM on December 16

No, he has no ties to U of M. Let's look at this for what it is shall we? Let's face it, in the big picture WVU isn't a a top tier football school. Not taking anything away from what they've done the past few years but in the big scheme of things there an average to slightly above average football program. Like it or not the Big Ten is a more elite Conference than the Big East. Yes the Big Ten was down this year but from top to bottom it is a better conference with more exposure, money and history. Michigan is the winningest program in D1, it's on nationally quite often. Recruiting wise let's face it, it's easier to get a top recruit to Michigan than it is WVU. The Big Ten is a boring conference to watch because of the style of football they play. Rodriquez isn't stupid, he knows that. He takes his type of football into Michigan and in a few years he owns the conference, has a contender every year and gets PAID A LOT OF MONEY. Hmm, what would you do? LOL

posted by B10 at 06:16 PM on December 16

As an Ohio State Fan, I am sure going to miss LLoyd carr! Tressle ruled him. Rodriquez could be more of a challenge.

posted by brownindian at 06:35 PM on December 16

I tend to agree with Punkrocat somewhat, as I feel WVU players have been abandoned before the bowl game. But, in this world, money rules the world, and Rich Rodriquez will be well paid to coach in the big house. I say goodbye and good riddance to Mr. "I'll never leave my roots here in West Virginia." Personally, I'd never hire a coach who loses to Pitt.

posted by Safefra at 06:58 PM on December 16

Very true brownindian Just like TRESSEL used to be . . . clocks ticking - GO BLUE

posted by B-2 Spirit at 03:27 AM on December 17

Hmmm... First Michigan 'steals' West Virginia's basketball coach last season and now they take their football coach. I'm just curious, but I were WVU, I'd keep a watchful eye on my baseball coach. By the way, does WVU have a hockey or lacrosse program too? If so, keep those coaches locked up too!

posted by chuckthefreek at 06:16 AM on December 17

Seriously though, the Big Ten has only about three prestigeous schools in their conference. Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. As a U of M fan, I can honestly say that OSU's coach Tressel is a helluva coach, no doubt. You knows he's not going anywhere. Joe Pa is sticking around at Penn State, too. Michigan is the only other 'high profile' job left. They have one of the largest and strongest alumni associations in the country. They have the largest football stadium in the 'Big House' and they have the most recognizable winged helmets in college football. Who could blame Rodriguez for jumping at this chance? Welcome to Ann Arbor, Rich. You're a better coach than Lloyd Carr anyway.

posted by chuckthefreek at 06:24 AM on December 17

"As an Ohio State Fan, I am sure going to miss LLoyd carr! Tressle ruled him. Rodriquez could be more of a challenge" posted by brownindian I hope Rodriquez can turn Tressle into the next John Cooper! (Boy I miss John Cooper)

posted by bo_fan at 06:57 AM on December 17

I hope Rodriquez can turn Tressle into the next John Cooper! (Boy I miss John Cooper) No Kidding, I miss him too. John Cooper was Michigans best player!

posted by B10 at 07:02 AM on December 17

I say goodbye and good riddance to Mr. "I'll never leave my roots here in West Virginia." Hard to blame somebody for taking the job at Michigan, one of the most storied schools in college football. I know Rodriguez is a WVU alum, but he gave the school six years, three Big East championships, and a run at the No. 1 ranking. How much more could you expect of him -- college coaches don't get lifetime gigs like JoePa and Bobby Bowden any more -- and how much higher could he take the Mountaineers?

posted by rcade at 07:37 AM on December 17

>> How much more could you expect of him Well, for one, I expected him to live up to the terms of the contract he signed last year. I expected him to live up to his word, and to his repeated promises to stay in West Virginia. That's what I expected. That's what the students, alumni and people of West Virginia expected. We expected him to live up to the promises he made to us last year when the governor of WV as well as the University went to great lengths to keep him as coach after he flirted with Alabama. >> college coaches don't get lifetime gigs like JoePa and Bobby Bowden any more. Oh come on. JoePa and Bowden were not given "lifetime gigs" by anyone. They *choose* to stay where they are. At least they have some sense of loyalty and pride in the institutions they coach at and because of that, they are rewarded with the same respect. >>and how much higher could he take the Mountaineers? Well, a National Championship for one. I fully expect the Mountaineers to compete for a chance to be in the big game next year. Second, he could have stuck around and got our team more respect. Win more games. Bring more prestige to the team and the school. Whatever. He made a choice based on money and prestige for himself. And now he's gone. It just sucks that loyalty doesn't mean shit to many people anymore. I hope WV can at least make a good high-profile decision in their coaching search.

posted by Punkrockrat at 08:50 AM on December 17

Whatever. He made a choice based on money and prestige for himself. And now he's gone. It just sucks that loyalty doesn't mean shit to many people anymore. So I take it you're still working for the first company that ever hired you, and you never sought a job opportunity with better pay and prestige? And that if your friends or family members ever did the same, you'd call them out with equal vehemence? IMO, corporations and universities stopped demonstrating such loyalty long before employees, coaches and players ever did. If Rodriguez's teams suddenly stopped winning for whatever reason, and the program went south, do you really think WVU would hesitate to fire him if they felt that was the best move for their program as a whole? Do you think it will matter that Charlie Weis went to Notre Dame if their football team has another horrific season next year? I think it's erroneous to place onus for the breakdown of "loyalty" on individual workers when employers are so cold-blooded about the bottom line. Well, for one, I expected him to live up to the terms of the contract he signed last year. The linked article states: "Rodriguez's West Virginia contract, which ran through the 2013 season, had a $4 million buyout clause if he left before next September." The buyout will be paid, and therefore the terms of the contract will be "lived up to". Again, if Rodriguez had lost his magic touch, the WVU team had started losing game after game, and alumni started demanding a coaching change, would you really be so concerned about the terms of the coach's original contract? No doubt WVU negotiated a similar buyout clause from their end to cover that very possibility.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:12 AM on December 17

I understand why Punkrockrat is so mad but loyalty only goes so far. As far as conferneces go the Big East has little respect in the fooball community. The B10, the SEC, the B12 and the PAC10 can go to the BCS title game with 1 loss. I can tell you that a Big East team will NEVER go the the title game with one loss. Michigan is a traditional power with a lot of prestige. Hell, they lost to App State and are still playing on New Years Day. LOL Like the WAC or the MAC the Big East is basically a stepping stone for coaches. What Big East School recently has had a coach that has been there more than 10 years. I believe the last one was Pitts Johnny Majors. How long ago was that? In fact I would venture to say that a Big East Coach besides major has never been with a team more than ten years, (I don't know that for a fact just speculating). The bottom line is he moved up and took a promotion, so to speak. With the recruits he can get at Michigan as compared to what he would have got at WVU it will only take him a couple of sesons to be a number one contender. Besides, WVU is in MUCH better shpse now than when he came in 7 seasons ago. Whoever takes over the job there is getting a good team.

posted by B10 at 09:22 AM on December 17

I think that colleges should not be allowed to talk to a potential coach before the bowl season is over. Coaches should not retire or seek other employment until the bowls are over especially if their team is playing in any bowl. It's a distraction that the players don't need.

posted by lil'red at 09:37 AM on December 17

>> What Big East School recently has had a coach that has been there more than 10 years. >> I believe the last one was Pitts Johnny Majors. How long ago was that? That would be Don Nehlen, at WVU. >> So I take it you're still working for the first company that ever hired you, and you never >> sought a job opportunity with better pay and prestige? And that if your friends or family >>members ever did the same, you'd call them out with equal vehemence? I completely see and understand the point you are making and even agree with it to a certain extent. But this is College Football we're talking about. Perhaps I am simply expecting too much, but when it comes to college football there is a certain amount of history, prestige, alliance and a *heck of a lot more personal feelings* involved than my 9-5 job. There are a lot more things expected from a college football coach than simply "coaching the team". >> If Rodriguez's teams suddenly stopped winning for whatever reason, and the program >> went south, do you really think WVU would hesitate to fire him if they felt that was >> the best move for their program as a whole? I'm not sure about that one. Don Nehlen was around for quite some time, and some folks would argue past his prime. He got us to lots of good games, but he still was around past a ton of disappointments. He stuck around WVU for much, much longer than many college coaches get to stay at other teams. I think that says at least something about the "decision-makers" or whatever at WVU. Of course, I'm biased and i'm WVU alumni who is angry. I'm sure I'll get over this one by next season. But this whole situation still stings very hard and leaves a bad, bad taste.

posted by Punkrockrat at 12:19 PM on December 17

So I take it you're still working for the first company that ever hired you, and you never sought a job opportunity with better pay and prestige? And that if your friends or family members ever did the same, you'd call them out with equal vehemence? I don't think this holds water. If you repeatedly told your employer and customers that you weren't going to leave that first company, maybe the situations would be more similar, but this isn't really a comparable situation. And nothing much of what goes on in the realm of private employment is similar to what goes on the realm of big-time athletics. IMO, corporations and universities stopped demonstrating such loyalty long before employees, coaches and players ever did. If Rodriguez's teams suddenly stopped winning for whatever reason, and the program went south, do you really think WVU would hesitate to fire him if they felt that was the best move for their program as a whole? Do you think it will matter that Charlie Weis went to Notre Dame if their football team has another horrific season next year? I think it's erroneous to place onus for the breakdown of "loyalty" on individual workers when employers are so cold-blooded about the bottom line. Universities may be cold-blooded about the bottom line, but coaches like Rodriguez have a great gig that many people would love the opportunity to have, and not just for the money. Many of us work under at-will employment situations, where we don't guarantee our employer anything about our employment and we have no guarantees about our employment or salaries. Rodriguez and others may be at risk of being fired, but guess what -- he's going to get paid even if he gets fired. Now that's a pretty good little set up, if you ask me. As I understand it, most football college coaching salaries (at least at big-name programs) are guaranteed, so the coach will be paid even if he's fired. Now, in some cases, the situation has become bad enough that the parties negotiate a buyout and the coach "resigns," in which case the full amount remaining on the deal is not ultimately paid out. I believe in the case of Franchione at Texas A&M, there was a question of whether his insider-only newsletters violated some clause of his contract, so he got bought out at $4MM or so instead of the remaining $10MM he had left on his deal. I'm not shedding a tear for the universities, but let's not pretend that Rodriguez or other college coaches don't have any leverage in this game or that it is reflective of American employment economics as a whole.

posted by holden at 12:42 PM on December 17

I hope WV can at least make a good high-profile decision in their coaching search. So, how will you feel if they go after a coach who's signed to a multi-year deal at his current school? Just curious to see how you would deal with things on the other side of the situation. I can tell you that a Big East team will NEVER go the the title game with one loss. And I can tell you that if WVU doesn't lose to Pitt, they'd be in the title game with one loss.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:01 PM on December 17

And I can tell you that if WVU doesn't lose to Pitt, they'd be in the title game with one loss. Doesn't matter, didn't happen. I wouldn't look for it to happen anytime soon either. LOL

posted by B10 at 01:17 PM on December 17

Strange, but an early thought was that this is good for the Rose Bowl. Rodriguez probably went as far as he could at WVU. I mean if it didn't happen with this year's Mountaineer team... Take your work to the big(er) boys and get paid as B10 says.

posted by Newbie Walker at 01:17 PM on December 17

That would be Don Nehlen, at WVU. I said recently, that was 7 or 8 years ago. By the way as a side note, Don Nehlen was a Michigan man under Schembechler. Don't think he didn't give coach Rod a thumbs up when he told him he was offered the job.

posted by B10 at 01:31 PM on December 17

Do you think it will matter that Charlie Weis went to Notre Dame if their football team has another horrific season next year? I think, based on Tyrone Willingham's experience at Notre Dame, that skin color is way too much of a factor at Notre Dame.

posted by cjets at 01:51 PM on December 17

I think, based on Tyrone Willingham's experience at Notre Dame, that skin color is way too much of a factor at Notre Dame. Willinghams skin color had NOTHING to do with him getting fired. He wasn't that good of a coach and notre Dame wanted to win. Give me a break.

posted by B10 at 01:56 PM on December 17

So... given that their three year records are almost identical (with Willingham posting a better record against ranked teams), why was Willingham fired and Weis given a multi-year, multi-million dollar extension? I'm not necessarily sold that race was a factor, but if 'notre dame wants to win', and Willingham's losses were the reason he got fired, then Weis should be out the door too. And he's not.

posted by tieguy at 02:02 PM on December 17

I see where you're coming from. Personally I just think that Willingham's style was not that compatable with Notre Dame. Notre Dame has a Big Ten style of football and Willingham does not coach that style. He is a better fit out west where he is at. Weiss is a run and defense coach which is waht the Irish want.

posted by B10 at 02:07 PM on December 17

I expected him to live up to his word, and to his repeated promises to stay in West Virginia. You really expected him never to leave until he was fired or retired? Considering what Rodriguez did for his alma mater in the six seasons he was there, I think the ass-kicking he is getting -- which included hecklers at Morgantown's airport -- is a bit ridiculous. There are few coaches in college capable of turning down a job like Michigan.

posted by rcade at 02:12 PM on December 17

then Weis should be out the door too. And he's not. Because they screwed up and gave him a ten year deal before seeing what he could do with his own players. cjets, I liked the guy, but if we're going to kill Weis for not having success with his own players, shouldn't Willingham come in for the same treatment? I didn't think Ty should have been fired, but I don't see where race came into it. Willingham wasn't the Name that Charlie Weis *was*. At the time it looked like ND was lucky to be able to buy a bit of Belichikian success.

posted by yerfatma at 02:16 PM on December 17

cjets, I liked the guy, but if we're going to kill Weis for not having success with his own players, shouldn't Willingham come in for the same treatment? I didn't mention Weis in my post. That was a subsequent post. Here's my point. If a team is going to give Bob Davie five years (with a career record of 35-25) and then not fire Weis after going 3-9 in his third year and just looking DREADFUL(including a 38-0 loss to USC), then something stinks when they give a class act like Ty Willingham only three years. Had he gotten a full five years at ND, I would not have a complaint. All that being said, I need to look at what makes TW different. And, in an era where there are only 6 (or is it 5 after Karl Dorrell was fired) African American coaches, one thing stands out.

posted by cjets at 02:41 PM on December 17

If a team is going to give Bob Davie five years (with a career record of 35-25) and then not fire Weis after going 3-9 in his third year and just looking DREADFUL(including a 38-0 loss to USC), then something stinks when they give a class act like Ty Willingham only three years. Sure, if all other things were equal. But they weren't. Davie was the tail end of the Holtz era and I think he got to stick around due in part to alumni and school thinking nothing was going to change. Davie's tenure coincided with ND discovering recruiting was getting harder with their academic standards and the school had lost some of the luster that brought top-tier recruits. He did have Ron Powlus and they had some regular season success, but it never panned out. Your analysis of Weis' tenure completely ignores the contract he has and that a class of seniors just left. How many key starters did he lose? Blame him for not bringing in replacements if they're as crappy in 2008 and 2009. This is his third season; anyone he directly recruited is, at best, a sophomore and more likely a redshirt freshman. Ty Willingham did not get a fair shake, but I am hard-pressed to see why that inherently means it was racially motivated. Did Terry Brennan get a fair shake at Notre Dame? He went 32-18 in 5 seasons before being let go. Notre Dame has gone through fits and starts throughout the last half century of great success and then seeking about for a coach. This time though, the boosters need to come to terms with the fact ND may never be the college football powerhouse it was. And, in an era where there are only 6 (or is it 5 after Karl Dorrell was fired) African American coaches, one thing stands out. I can't take this kind of Internet argument. Because there are only a few black head coaches one of the few institutions to hire one is racially suspect?

posted by yerfatma at 03:18 PM on December 17

Your analysis of Weis' tenure completely ignores the contract he has It was a ridiculous contract that they never should have given him. A contract they never would have given TW. All my analysis was trying to point out is that TW was judged by what seem to be different standards. The contract they gave Weis doesn't contradict that. and that a class of seniors just left. USC lost Leinart, Bush, Lendale White among others. They still made it to the Rose Bowl. This time though, the boosters need to come to terms with the fact ND may never be the college football powerhouse it was. They were saying this at SC during the Paul Hackett era. If they have the right coach, they can certainly be the college powerhouse they used to be. Did Terry Brennan get a fair shake at Notre Dame? He went 32-18 in 5 seasons before being let go. Five years seems to be the gold standard. If TW got five years (like Karl Dorrell did - which, by the way, I have no issue with), I'd have no issue with that either. I can't take this kind of Internet argument. Because there are only a few black head coaches one of the few institutions to hire one is racially suspect? They should be congratulated for hiring him. But that doesn't exonerate ND from applying what seems to be different standards to him as a coach. The fact that there are only six African American coaches seems to point up that hiring coaches of color (given the racial makeup of the college players) is a major problem in College Football

posted by cjets at 04:02 PM on December 17

Weiss is a run and defense coach which is waht the Irish want. Which is why the Irish will continue to be mediocre.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:10 PM on December 17

in an era where there are only 6 (or is it 5 after Karl Dorrell was fired) African American coaches, one thing stands out. The pain in the ass people who point to race in a sports thread? What.......that's only one thing.

posted by jojomfd1 at 04:37 PM on December 17

The pain in the ass people who point to race in a sports thread? What.......that's only one thing. Right. Good point, Jojo. What was your point again? That I'm a pain in the ass? TW's firing and the lack of African American Coaches in college football is an issue worth discussing. Maybe you don't believe it was racially motivated. Fine. Then let's hear your opinion, rather than some lame-ass, unfunny (the cardinal sin) attempt at a personal attack. I may disagree with Yerfatma. But I respect the hell out of his opinions and I enjoy reading them. What ruins a sports thread for me are jackasses like you, who need to resort to calling someone a pain in the ass, rather than debating the issues. So why don't you take your non-opinion and your personal attack and save it for some other neanderthal who doesn't understand the concept of debate like yourself.

posted by cjets at 05:18 PM on December 17

Which is why the Irish will continue to be mediocre. I think at this point, the Irish would be thrilled with a little mediocrity! Cuz I think the only way to characterize the past year is piss poor. How 'bout bringing back Jerry Faust? The Irish enjoyed wonderful mediocrity under coach F.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:23 PM on December 17

All my analysis was trying to point out is that TW was judged by what seem to be different standards. The contract they gave Weis doesn't contradict that. But it's quite a leap, isn't it? Isn't it more likely the school felt they were too long in the desert and irrationally over-committed to Weis thinking that first year was indicative of future results? USC lost Leinart, Bush, Lendale White among others. They still made it to the Rose Bowl. Sure, but they replaced them with people Pete Carroll had recruited years earlier, players with experience. Weis was running a freshman QB out there this year. If they have the right coach, they can certainly be the college powerhouse they used to be. Kind of begging the question, isn't it, suggesting they don't currently have the right coach. I have to disagree: ND's academic standards have meant they don't bother recruiting some kids and that many kids they do recruit go to other programs where there's less chance of being suspended do to academic reasons. I'm not saying it can't be done (Duke basketball shows it can), but it's an additional level of difficulty, especially for a coach new to college. Weiss is a run and defense coach which is waht the Irish want. Which is why the Irish will continue to be mediocre. Right, because no one ever wins with good defense and a running game. If you want to argue that Weis isn't a defensive coach or a run-first coach, fine. If you just want to talk shit about Notre Dame, start backing a school that didn't lose to a I-AA team this year.

posted by yerfatma at 05:32 PM on December 17

Isn't it more likely the school felt they were too long in the desert and irrationally over-committed to Weis thinking that first year was indicative of future results? Maybe. But in Weis' first year he was 9-3. TW's first year he was 10-2 with wins over 4 top 25 teams, including Michigan. Why not offer TW the long contract? Sure, but they replaced them with people Pete Carroll had recruited years earlier, players with experience. Weis was running a freshman QB out there this year. This is Weis' third year. He knew Quinn would be gone. Why didn't he recruit a QB earlier so that they would not be relying on Jimmy Clausen? ND's academic standards have meant they don't bother recruiting some kids and that many kids they do recruit go to other programs where there's less chance of being suspended do to academic reasons. And good on them for having those high standards. But here's the other side of the coin. ND is one of the most prestigious places to play college football in the U.S. They're the only team to have their own network deal. Even with the high academic standards, they would seem to have their pick of the litter in recruiting kids. Plus with those high standards, one would think that they're getting smarter, more disciplined players (the type of players that an ex-Patriots coach would relish).

posted by cjets at 05:56 PM on December 17

This is Weis' third year. He knew Quinn would be gone. Why didn't he recruit a QB earlier Like when? How many great QBs are there in college football right now? I'm not sure Clausen isn't a good one. He needs a line and receivers and runners too. It's easy to say what Weis should be doing, but there are lots of other schools that should be doing the same. Even with the high academic standards, they would seem to have their pick of the litter in recruiting kids. They did, but that hasn't been true since the early '90s, around the time Holtz left.

posted by yerfatma at 06:28 PM on December 17

Right, because no one ever wins with good defense and a running game. As I have said in other threads it is becoming much more difficult to win games against teams from other BCS conferences with the traditional smashmouth style that the Big Ten and Notre Dame is accustomed to. Speed is becoming much more important to the college game, which is the biggest reason as to why I am pleased with Rich Rodriguez's hiring.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:02 PM on December 17

Weiss is a run and defense coach which is waht the Irish want. Which is why the Irish will continue to be mediocre. posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 4:10 PM CST on December 17 Look, I wasn't saying it was a good strategy. I wasn't agreeing or disagreeing with it. i was simply stating a fact. The Irish run an old school Big 10 type team. Weiss is a better fit for that than willingham or Davies. To argue that the strategy is good or not is a whole other topic. I will agree with yerfatma when he said, "Right, because no one ever wins with good defense and a running game".

posted by B10 at 07:07 PM on December 17

I'm not sure Clausen isn't a good one. He needs a line and receivers and runners too. I agree. But that doesn't change my argument. If they need all these players, why hasn't Weis been recruiting them these past three years? It's easy to say what Weis should be doing, but there are lots of other schools that should be doing the same. But Weis has the advantage of recruiting for Notre Dame. I can't help but see this as a huge plus even with the high academic standards ND has.

posted by cjets at 07:27 PM on December 17

Hard to blame somebody for taking the job at Michigan, one of the most storied schools in college football. I know Rodriguez is a WVU alum, but he gave the school six years, three Big East championships, and a run at the No. 1 ranking. How much more could you expect of him -- college coaches don't get lifetime gigs like JoePa and Bobby Bowden any more -- and how much higher could he take the Mountaineers? /clears throat /nudges rcade /whispers. . . "but he should still have to sit out a year right?"

posted by tselson at 11:06 PM on December 17

Funny how the Michigan coaching change suddenly got changed to talking about ND. I say get back to the start. Who cares about ND????

posted by coach at 11:17 PM on December 17

Notre Dame football is all about tradition, meaning the past. Their football team currently is horrible and not capable of competing. And speaking of the past, I remember when this thread had to do with Rich Rodriguez.

posted by dyams at 07:22 AM on December 18

O.K., why in the hell is the Gov. of WV weighing in on this? So a politician is going to say something about ethics? That's rich!!!! I guess being the Gov of WV you don't have anthing to do? Get a life dumb dumb. Do you think if Mich's coach did that to them, fat chance by the way of that ever happening, the Gov would wine about it to the press? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Hell no, they'd move on, hire another big name and be done with it. I understand the anger from WVU fans and supporters but SHIT HAPPENS, shut up, move on and quit crying.

posted by B10 at 07:22 AM on December 18

Yeah -- I think I inadvertently hijacked this thread with an aside about Charlie Weis. Sorry about that, but it was the only example that came to mind. If you repeatedly told your employer and customers that you weren't going to leave that first company, maybe the situations would be more similar, but this isn't really a comparable situation. And nothing much of what goes on in the realm of private employment is similar to what goes on the realm of big-time athletics. My argument was not so much that the situations are comparable per se, but that the standards of "loyalty" that we apply to professional athletes and coaches are not often reflected or applied to the standards we set for ourselves and our peers. I do agree, however, that the two realms are not similar - for example, in the example I gave and Holden expanded on, there would be no media corps constantly asking if you were going to stay with your company and essentially forcing you to repeatedly declare your loyalty. That's really the only legitimate beef against Rodriguez - he said he'd stay and he didn't. But did he really have any choice in the matter? In many cases, coaches are caught in a catch-22, wherein they have to state their loyalty every time a better job opens up, exposing themselves to attacks on their integrity if they later take a different job, or else risk being portrayed as having one foot out the door. What are you supposed to do in that situation? Certainly we'd all agree that a coach should have a right to change jobs, at the very least when his contract expires, but if a coach says "I'm probably out of here when this contract runs out," his team will start tuning him out and the media will go nuts with speculation. If he voices some platitude about how he's totally happy, everyone calms down, but then he's demonized if he ever leaves. Total no-win situation. Rodriguez and others may be at risk of being fired, but guess what -- he's going to get paid even if he gets fired. Now that's a pretty good little set up, if you ask me. As I understand it, most football college coaching salaries (at least at big-name programs) are guaranteed, so the coach will be paid even if he's fired. While a coach that gets fired will often still get paid by his previous employer, a coach that leaves for a better job will leave the cupboard stocked with his recruits (WVU still has some insanely good athletes to bank on, thanks to Rodriguez' recruiting efforts). In other words, regardless of who dumps who, the dump-ee is not totally screwed. A fired coach can find another job, and WVU can find another coach. I'm not sure a string quartet playing sad songs is called for in either situation.

posted by Venicemenace at 07:38 AM on December 18

What do you all think about that Rodriguez isn't going to coach WVU in the bowl game? As a player I think it would suck. Carr is going to coach the Wolverines, so what's the difference?

posted by lil'red at 08:00 AM on December 18

What do you all think about that Rodriguez isn't going to coach WVU in the bowl game? Yea, I really don't get that part. I mean, he can still announce he'll coach Michigan next year and finish out this year at WVU, no? As a player, I can understand my coach leaving next year. But to leave before the bowl game? I'd be pissed. Hell, it's not like they're playing the the Outback Alamo.com bubble burst game.

posted by jmd82 at 08:04 AM on December 18

I mean, he can still announce he'll coach Michigan next year and finish out this year at WVU, no? NO. Come on now. If he loses that game fans will say his heads not in it and he shouldn't have coached in it. The fact is that he is no longer employed by WVU. His interersts, obviously, are elsewhere. Why in the hell would you want a coach on the field that left? That makes no sense to me. The bottom line is his contract was fulfilled and he's done. He either coached through 2013 OR if he left before September there is a 4MIL $ buy out. This isn't rocket science. since the buy out is being paid is contract was fulfilled. Carr is going to coach the Wolverines, so what's the difference? Carr is retiring, that example is not even close to what Rod did.

posted by B10 at 08:16 AM on December 18

As close as West Virginia came to possibly playing in the national championship, and even with all the talented players they have, especially on offense, their 2007 season hasn't really been that impressive. The terrible loss to Pittsburgh the final game only reinforces that fact. That being said, I think the Mountaineers are going to have a big problem competing with Oklahoma with or without Rodriguez on the sideline. He's really in a no-win situation, though. If he stays and coaches the team and they lose, people will assume the team lacked motivation and possibly preparation due to their coach taking another job. Now that he's decided not to coach the team in the Fiesta Bowl, if they lose, his not being there would be the reason they lost, too. At least now, it they do manage to beat the Sooners, they move into the post-Rodriguez era with the feeling the program will be OK.

posted by dyams at 08:28 AM on December 18

B10, what I meant was Carr could have said no to coaching the team through the bowl game, but didn't. Yes, this could be his swan song if Michigan wins, but if they lose, it could be the same as Rodriguez coaching WVu and losing...he was already retired/resigned. So in that case what is the difference. As a WVU player, I would want the consistency of the 'coach' being there and yes dyams, he is in a catch-22, but he put himself in that situation. I still think colleges should not recruit a coach until after the bowl season. It is not fair to the players and fans.

posted by lil'red at 10:09 AM on December 18

Yes, this could be his swan song if Michigan wins I still think it's a different story. Carr has been with Mich since the 80's. Win or lose his legacy at Mich is stable. There is a HUGE difference between retiring and resigning. Carr will hold a position in the front offices and be a consultant to Rod. As for his Swan Song only if he wins, well you don't understand Michigan Football. Don't take that as a shot but Mich is different than a lot of schools. Like I said, Carrs legacy is fine, win or lose this game. Carr could have said no to coaching the team through the bowl game Not really. everyone knew this was his last year. It wasn't a suprise at all. The team knew, the fans knew, the administration knew. The situation at Mich is so different than WVU's that it's not even a fair comparison. Retiring and resigning aren't really the same thing to a program. Resigning means you are done coaching at that school, (Rod). Retiring means you are done coaching. Ask the folks at WVU and they'll tell you it's a big difference. If Rod would have retired and went nowhere feelings in Morgantown would be a lot different.

posted by B10 at 10:28 AM on December 18

he is in a catch 22, but he put himself in that situation What catch 22 is he in? He resigned....job over. There in no catch at all. He has a new job, period. He quit his old job, period. It is not his team anymore, period. He wanted it that way, period. I just don't understand what the debate about him coaching the bowl game is. Why in the Hell would ANY WVu fan want him to coach their team at this point. HE DOESN'T WANT TO BE THERE! In my opinion, there is no catch 22, no controversy, no nothing, HE QUIT WVU. As a fan, if the coach of my team did that, be it pro or college....I would want his ass ran out of town. In thyis case they don't have to because he got the Hell out on his own. Here is the bottom line: HE IS NOT COACHING THE BOWL GAME BECAUSE HE IS NOT THEIR COACH ANYMORE.

posted by B10 at 10:39 AM on December 18

Whoa! Here's a turn of events I hadn't counted on... ESPN: "Source: Attorneys to contest ex-coach having to pay $4m to WVU" A primary WVU donor and close friend of Rodriguez says in the article, "They baited and switched him. Rich was boxed in by a university and athletic department that was arrogant, mean-spirited and intellectually bankrupt. How can someone like me now commit money to this university?"

posted by Venicemenace at 12:17 PM on December 18

Whoa! Here's a turn of events I hadn't counted on... ESPN: "Source: Attorneys to contest ex-coach having to pay $4m to WVU" Sounds pretty ridiculous to me -- the University didn't deliver on promises such as giving Rodriguez more authority over VIP sideline passes, so he doesn't have to pay the $4MM due to the school when he breaks his contract to leave? I imagine that unless the University has some major balls and is willing to spend the legal fees to drive home a point, that this will just result in his buyout being negotiated downward. Sleazy move by Rodriguez.

posted by holden at 01:19 PM on December 18

ESPN: "Source: Attorneys to contest ex-coach having to pay $4m to WVU" LOL So much for the big "Family"atmosphere they had down there in Morgantown.

posted by B10 at 01:55 PM on December 18

Agreed, Holden -- the article notes that a similar fracas led to Coach Beilein negotiating his buyout downwards by $1m when HE left for Michigan. Coincidence? Doubtful.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:18 PM on December 18

Boy I Love u of M. LOL

posted by B10 at 02:26 PM on December 18

I feel that Rodriguez's actions in his matter PALE in comparison to the true SLEAZE that is Bobby Petrino. Arkansas welcomes these hi-jinx ( in case anyone has forgotten about Lou Holtz in 1977 with the Jets - he was 3-10 as well and went to where?). If the unversities shortcomings are factual - I feel that Coach Rod is well within his right to get the buy-out fine reduced. WVU Adminstration should be wary of fighting this TOO much - if it comes at the expense of losing a major donor (they tend to follow one anothers leads). I suspect this will go away quickly, and a reasonable agreement reached.

posted by B-2 Spirit at 03:56 PM on December 18

Allowing players to keep textbooks for resale, a practice that occurs at some other schools. Waiving a $5 charge for high school coaches to attend Mountaineers games. Having authority over distribution of sideline passes. Kendrick said Rodriguez "negotiated" one for his wife, Rita. Having authority to allocate funds from the 1100 Club for coaches. A committment to increase pay for his assistant coaches. Additional money to pay graduate assistants. Hiring an additional recruiting assistant. This is why he left? If WVU was making an honest effort to do these things, what's his beef? Am I missing something here? B10, I see what you are saying and I may have been wrong to compare Rod and Carr. Carr has class.

posted by lil'red at 04:49 PM on December 18

This is why he left? If WVU was making an honest effort to do these things, what's his beef? Am I missing something here? No lil'red that is NOT why he left. All those things, as trivial as they are, were just adding up. He left for a better opportunity, a better conference, better recruiting, more money....shall I go on? That's it, all this other trivial stuff is just a smoke screen to get his buyout reduced. What you call classless I call shrewed on the part of Michigan. Do you really think that Rod is complaining that bad about those things? No, Michigan is trying to find a way to get the $4Mil buy out down.

posted by B10 at 06:25 PM on December 18

Rich Rod.....a class act. Just like another one of our other idiots from WV....Randy Moss. No class, Rich Rod. A true Mountaineer bleeds blue and gold. Well, I guess in his case, blue and maize.

posted by SeriousWVUfan at 06:50 PM on December 18

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