You all know the story with Rich Rodriguez and West Virginia by now. Coach says he wants to coach at school forever. School offers him a lucrative contract, but it comes with a $4 million buyout. Coach takes School A to the verge of the national championship game before choking at home to a hated rival with a losing record ruining the hopes and dreams of an entire state. Then coach engages in secret negotiations with another school, let's call them school M, and quits just before the bowl game. School A is upset with how the deal went down and insists on collecting their buyout, but coach refuses to pay. Undaunted, coach proceeds to steal recruits from other Big Ten schools. (Whoops, how did that get in there? Let's stay on track.)
The details of this ongoing battle between Rodriguez and West Virginia get juicier and juicier. This week the deposition of West Virginia president Mike Garrison was released, and they reveal a side of Rich Rodriguez that makes you go "wha"?
West Virginia University President Mike Garrison said in a deposition that former football coach Rich Rodriguez was "very distraught" in a private meeting the night before he resigned and accepted the top job at Michigan, complaining about harsh public reaction to a lost shot at a national championship.
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.
Excuse me, but...
Cry me a river!
Gee. I can't understand why the fans would be upset with you. I mean, sure, it could have been you tagging 38 points on Ohio State in the BCS championship game instead of LSU. Heck, you might have hung 50 points on the scoreboard that day and cemented yourself in the College Fotball Hall of Fame as an offensive genius, but national championships aren't all they're cracked up to be. It could take you at least two minutes to pick all the confetti out of your hair. (Well, maybe one in your case, Rich.) All the parades and media exposure are a hastle. And who really cares to go to the White House to meet the president anyway? And Pitt was a tough team. They had four wins going into that game.
"He did indicate his frustration that he was not supported or valued at the university," Garrison said. "And I simply did not agree with that."
Dude, if you can't handle the pressure in West Virginia, good luck in Michigan. If you are prone to have lapses in the Big East losing games to South Florida, Louisville, and Pitt from time to time, then the Big Ten is going to eat you alive.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: Michigan will regret this hire. He will get a pass this year as all new coaches do, but I can't see him lasting more than four years in Ann Arbor. Maybe three. The man ditched his Alma Mater just before their bowl game. Now he's taking them to court. If he has no loyalty to them there is no reason to believe he will put the University of Michigan's needs before his own.
I can tell you exactly how this story is going to end too. He's building expectations in Ann Arbor with good recruiting and tough talk. He will build that team up into a contender, but like his West Virginia teams in the Big East they will struggle a few times a season and lose games they shouldn't. Then like everyone else in the Big Ten they will lose to Ohio State a few times. The powerful Michigan alumni and boosters will start whispering in his ear about Michigan tradition and beating the Buckeyes. He'll tell them to take their Michigan tradition and stick it where the sun don't shine, and that will be the beginning of the end for Rich Rodriguez.
Now comes the part where the Michigan fans slam me for being a cooky paranoid Penn State fan. That's fine. Go ahead, but four years from now you will look back on this post and know I was right.