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Unassisted
01-18-2008, 12:24 PM
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/football/stories/2008/01/18/cfb18.ART_ART_01-18-08_C3_2V93EVP.html?type=rss&cat=&sid=101


Rodriguez says he's the target of smear campaign
Friday, January 18, 2008 3:01 AM

Former West Virginia football coach Rich Rodriguez is baffled by the stir that his departure has created in his home state, including an investigation into the removal of documents from his office that his attorney says was simply housecleaning for new coach Bill Stewart.

WVU is looking into the scope of the files that disappeared in Morgantown after Rodriguez was hired at Michigan on Dec. 16. The missing files were noticed after WVU coaches returned from the Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl. Some of the files were backup records of players' classwork, WVU said.

"There seems to be a campaign to try to smear me," Rodriguez said yesterday. "I haven't said anything until recently, when I felt I needed to defend all the false accusations.

"It has just gotten ridiculous over the last couple of days."

Rodriguez said he only removed personal papers, such as notes about players or his game plans.

"There was an implication that I had all these secret files and I was throwing them away, but it's simply not true," Rodriguez said.

"There's so many inaccuracies and falsehood and innuendo, at some point, you get tired of getting beat up. It was that I erased academic files, then the next day, 'Oh, no, that didn't happen.' The corrections are on page six and the lead story is on page one."

Rodriguez's decision to leave created a wave of anger and name calling back home, and the investigation over missing files is the latest to open wounds.

WVU athletics spokesman Mike Fragale said the department "is not going to have any further comment at this time."

Marv Robon, one of Rodriguez's attorneys, said when Rodriguez took over for Lloyd Carr at Michigan, "there was not one piece of paper" in his new office.

The same courtesy should have been anticipated when Rodriguez left West Virginia, Robon said.

Since Rodriguez's departure, his relatives say they have been harassed. His mother, Arleen, said the coach's home also was vandalized.

WVU's Board of Governors has sued Rodriguez in an attempt to collect on a $4 million buyout clause in his contract.

WVRed
01-18-2008, 12:37 PM
Honestly, I had always thought Rodriguez was a jerk when he was at WVU and I doubt that will change at Michigan.

But WVU is taking sour grapes to a whole new level. First the buyout, then all of this with the paperwork and recruiting. I like Bill Stewart and I really hope he does well as head coach, but some people(and an administration) really needs to let go.

pedro
01-18-2008, 01:08 PM
Honestly, I had always thought Rodriguez was a jerk when he was at WVU and I doubt that will change at Michigan.

But WVU is taking sour grapes to a whole new level. First the buyout, then all of this with the paperwork and recruiting. I like Bill Stewart and I really hope he does well as head coach, but some people(and an administration) really needs to let go.

do you know the particulars of his buy out clause or why he isn't paying it?

IslandRed
01-18-2008, 01:50 PM
do you know the particulars of his buy out clause or why he isn't paying it?

If I remember what I read correctly, he has a lengthy time period over which he can pay the money. They filed a lawsuit because they think he doesn't intend to pay it, not because he'd actually breached the contract yet. I have no idea what the legal justification might be for that, IANAL etc., but forcing him to pay lawyer bills to defend himself against something he hasn't done yet? "Sour grapes" probably covers it.

Unassisted
01-19-2008, 12:24 PM
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080119/SPORTS06/80119008/1123/SPORTS05


JUST LIKE TRESSEL? Rich Rodriguez to speak at the U-M/OSU basketball game

January 19, 2008

FREE PRESS STAFF REPORTS

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez will speak at halftime of the U-M/Ohio State men's basketball game on Feb. 17 at Crisler Arena.

Tip-off for the game is 1 p.m. The game can be seen on CBS (Channel 62 in Detroit).

Rodriguez attended the Jan. 8 game against Indiana, only a few days after the football team won the Capital One Bowl over Florida.

Will Rich Rod pull a Jim Tressel and promise victory over the Buckeyes? Tressel, in 2001, took the Ohio State job and went to the Michigan game. Remember what he told a basketball crowd at halftime that night?

"You'll be proud of our young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the football field."

And 310 days later, there was unranked Ohio State, dumping the No. 11 Wolverines in their own big house. Wrote Mike Lopresti of USA Today: “The only man I can think of to cause more pain for the state of Michigan ever since is the CEO of Toyota.”

westofyou
01-19-2008, 12:29 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/18/sports/ncaafootball/18wvu.html?ref=ncaafootball
January 18, 2008
Acrimony Leads Closure in West Virginia Conflict
By RAY GLIER

In the acrimonious aftermath of the Rich Rodriguez era at West Virginia, Bill Stewart, the head coach for about two weeks, is looking for closure, which does not seem to be in reach.

West Virginia University has filed a lawsuit against Rodriguez, there are allegations that he destroyed documents valuable to the program, and a top player has declared for the N.F.L. draft since he left for Michigan on Dec. 17.

“We need to start talking Mountaineer football and Michigan football and let it go,” Stewart said in a telephone interview. “Rich is gone, there is a new regime here. We need to go our separate ways.”

West Virginia officials are willing to let Rodriguez leave peacefully as long as he pays the university $4 million for breaking his contract, which paid him $1.9 million in 2007 and was signed through 2013.

The university filed the lawsuit Dec. 27, claiming Rodriguez is obligated to pay the buyout over the next two years. Rodriguez’s lawyers filed a motion Wednesday to move the suit to federal court. He has until next Wednesday to answer the complaint from West Virginia officials.

The conflict over the buyout is only part of the feud between Rodriguez and West Virginia.

This week, The Charleston Gazette, quoting sources inside the West Virginia athletic department, reported that after Rodriguez returned from Michigan after his introductory news conference, he and a member of his staff were seen shredding documents belonging to the program. The university said it was not sure what documents were shredded and it is investigating.

“The things they are saying are not true,” Rodriguez told The Toledo Blade on Wednesday. “It’s a lie. How can you put out lies and think it’s O.K.? They don’t care what the truth is, they just want to smear Rich Rodriguez.”

Highway signs in Rodriguez’s hometown, Grant Town, W. Va., proclaiming him one of its own, were taken down because officials there feared vandalism. Rodriguez’s family has been harassed and threatened, said his agent, Mike Brown.

What has riled West Virginia supporters was that Rodriguez swore allegiance after being courted by Alabama in 2006.

“When the details come out, you’ll see that I’m committed to West Virginia University for a very, very long time,” Rodriguez said after turning down the Crimson Tide.

Rodriguez’s supporters, however, said West Virginia did not fulfill commitments to Rodriguez to improve the program. In a telephone interview, Brown said Rodriguez simply took a better job. “It seems like people in West Virginia think Rich and his family are supposed to be indebted in servitude to them the rest of their lives,” Brown said.

Rodriguez was not available for comment, according to Michigan officials and Brown.

Three weeks after Rodriguez left, the star running back Steve Slaton said he would skip his senior season and declare for the N.F.L. draft. His father hinted to The Philadelphia Daily News that part of the decision was because Slaton’s carries had decreased.

Stewart was named Rodriguez’s replacement Jan. 3, the morning after West Virginia upset Oklahoma, 48-28, in the Fiesta Bowl. He has hired veteran coaches to replace the six assistants who joined Rodriguez. One new assistant is John Holliday, who was on Urban Meyer’s staff at Florida and is familiar with the spread offense.

“Holliday is huge for West Virginia, because he is one of the best recruiters in college football,” said Tom Lemming, a recruiting analyst for CSTV.

West Virginia was 11-2 this season and ended the season ranked No. 6. Next season’s team will have veterans on offense with the return of quarterback Pat White, the Big East’s offensive player of the year; tailback Noel Devine; and the entire starting line.

Bernie Buttrey, the coach at Parkersburg (W.Va.) High School, said there would not be a division between Rodriguez’s and Stewart’s supporters.

“You accept that this is the way it is in college football, coaches take other jobs,” Buttrey said. “Rich had a lot of West Virginia guys on his staff; Bill is hiring a lot of West Virginia guys for the new staff. I’ve known both of them a long time, and people supported Rich and they will support Bill.”

traderumor
01-19-2008, 04:40 PM
West Virginia officials are willing to let Rodriguez leave peacefully as long as he pays the university $4 million for breaking his contract, which paid him $1.9 million in 2007 and was signed through 2013.This is one thing that is not just spite, but is good business. If Rodriguez didn't want a poison pill in his contract, then he shouldn't have signed it. With coaches jumping ship and the millions of dollars the market is bearing, an employer would be foolish and a bad steward not to have such clauses. Rodriguez is wrong for making it become a lawsuit, he should have negotiated that into his UM deal.