Your boy's a Wolverine! What's up?
Your boy's a Wolverine! What's up?
This entire state thought they had a loyal coach, a West Virginian born and raised, who wanted to be here, and it turned out that wasn't true.
Last year he used the Alabama job offer as a negotiating tool to force the university to meet his demands if he were to stay. The university did exactly that, giving Coach Rod a 70% increase in salary, bumping the salaries of his assistants, building a $2 million academic center for the team, and starting construction on $6 million worth of locker room renovations. Rod responded by reupping here with a seven-year extension that he just signed three months ago after agreeing to terms in December '06.
But apparently signing that long-term contractual commitment didn't translate into a reality-based commitment, because Rod takes a secret meeting with the UM staff while in Toledo and comes back with more demands based on his talks with them. To be fair to Rod, none of the demands seemed to be for his own personal gain but rather for his players, his staff, and other coaches. But according to the chairman of the Board of Governors, Rod was told by university officials that they would continue to work on the issues brought up.
Rod expected them to buckle immediately to his extortion-like game just like they did the previous year, and university officials called his bluff, even though some of these things were probably more do-able than not. So he left. But before leaving, before he even told his team his decision to go, he made sure to call a couple of recruits and tell them first so he could gauge their interest and have them put Michigan on their list. That seems to be the way the story is shaped at this point in time.
What it boils down to though is this - you either want to be here or you don't. Most of the WVU faithful, the ones who live here in West Virginia and who understand what it means to be a Mountaineer, thought that we ended this little game last year. We're talking about a guy who was born in Grant Town, played high school ball at North Marion, played for WVU as a walk-on under Don Nehlen, coached in WV at both Salem and Glenville State, and then returned to lead this team to a new level of achievement.
He was a golden boy in this state, and according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, we're expected to believe that he threw it all away for incredibly minor things - $100K more in bonus money for his assistants, allowing scholarship players to keep their books after each semester, waiving a ticket fee for high school coaches attending games, and adding more recruiting assistants.
Seriously? That's why you leave? Puh-lease, no one's buying that one, Coach. At least no more than anyone should have believed your line last year about how you "plan on being here a long time."
It seems pretty clear Rodriguez didn't truly want to be here, and instead, was using this job as a stepping stone to his next job. No one is pretending that the Michigan job is less prestigious than West Virginia. We recognize that UM is a step up on the career platform from little ol' Morgantown. The recruiting will be easier, the recognition will be greater, we see all of those things. Even though WVU is now at the level of a national contender and recruiting was really starting to come around, no one is naive enough to think that we're standing toe to toe in the college ranks with a university like Michigan in terms of national recognition and status.
But the point is we didn't think that mattered to Rich, especially since he was turning things around here and making us a household name. We thought a guy from this state, a guy who played for the old gold and blue himself, would feel a bigger sense of loyalty to his alma mater than this. Who knows, maybe the days of loyalty in college football are going the ways of those in pro football and this kind of behavior is to be expected.
But that would be news to the fans of this state, because we bleed old gold and blue. We thought Rich Rod did as well. But according to his representatives, Rich Rod may even contest the $4 million buy-out that's part of his contract by claiming the university acted in bad faith or fraudulently in not meeting his demands more quickly.
However, if WVU fans are realizing anything right now, it's that the only fraud in this entire production is Rodriguez himself for fooling us into thinking he was one of us, a true Mountaineer. Instead, it seems this was just another job. What a shame.
Nick, that was one hell of a post.
I've heard the name of another WV guy, Terry Bowden, being thrown around as a possible replacement for Rodriguez. What do you think?
Bowden really seems to be the front runner at this point. Early word was that FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher was a top contender but it doesn't sound like he's inclined to ditch the future head coaching gig there to come here and take our's. Former WVU assistant coach Rick Trickett, also at FSU, may be a contender for the vacancy here. Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster is a name that's generating a lot of buzz as well.
Then you've got guys like George "Duke" Henshaw (assistant for the Saints), Butch Jones (CMU head coach), and even Doc Holliday (assistant at Florida) being thrown around as contenders as well.
I guess that's one of the positive things you can take out of this initial coaching search - there have been a number of guys ready and willing to toss their name into the hat.
I see nothing wrong with what transpired here, nothing at all...
He'll be your huckleberry.Quote:
and even Doc Holliday
I really enjoyed your post and it was probably the best post I have read on this site all season.
Adding insult to injury must be difficult when all the marbles were there for your team.
I think coach Rod is making a terrible mistake leaving a top 10 calibre team and playing in a much weaker division in my valuable opinion:) by taking on a program that is not where its supporters want it to be.
WVU has been great the last few years and their basketball program is pretty awesome too.
BTW, I had been a Les Myles supporter since he has been in Red Stick, but I feel he did not make basic changes during the season that could have won the games we lost and the studs we have in the backfield have been under utilized so I WANTED HIM TO TAKE THE MICHIGAN job and I would take Coach Rod in a heartbeat!!!
Coach Rod is not yet a satan or spurrier or that coach formerly with atl but he is going in that direction. He really put WVU on the MAP with a HUGE STAR!!! Your program is awesome and should be really exciting to be a part of for many more years!!!
Happy New Year!!!