Tuesday, January 15, 2008


WVU isn't all that happy with Rich Rodriguez, and vice versa. Both feel wronged. Both are vindictive. WVU filed suit against their former coach before any payment was even due in regard to breaking his contract. Now it appears Rodriguez has burned all bridges, leaving scorched earth and small bits of paper behind him, giving a shredder a big workout in the process. From the Freep...

If today's reports from West Virginia newspapers are true, with the first one emerging from the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette, the hatred is about to reach a new level.

The initial Gazette report, which cited an unnamed source, said that Rodriguez “destroyed all or most of the paperwork filed relating to every player on the Mountaineer roster and virtually all of the activities conducted by the programs over the past seven years.”

Rodriguez and Michigan officials were unavailable for comment this morning.

At first blush, the old adage came to mind, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." In fact, I'm about to keel over from smoke inhalation just reading the article...

Considering the acrimony between WVU and Rodriguez, there's very legitimate reasons not to jump to any conclusions. But...If true, why would Rodriguez need to do such a thing? Why cover your tracks? Why do something so ethically questionable? Why, why, why?

Let's say Rodriguez did what the unnamed WVU sources are claiming. I have to wonder, if he didn't have anything to hide, why did Rodriguez bother to shred everything and anything that had to do with his 7 year tenure? Why wipe out player files? Why shred strength and conditioning information? Again, why, why, why?

To me, the following is most the most damning section of the the Charleston Gazette article...

According to the source, the files in Rodriguez’s office that are now missing included everything from records regarding summer camps — financial and otherwise — to data on boosters, recruiting and most everything related to activities within the program during Rodriguez’s seven years at WVU.

When I see the words "boosters" and "financial", that gets my attention. The metaphorical smoke is thick and billowing. Then again, if there was something illegal going on, why would there be a paper trail that needs to be destroyed? Hell, if that's true, Rodriguez should be canned by Michigan for being stupid.

More than anything else, the allegations coming out of West Virginia make Rodriguez look bad. And I mean, B-A-D. Even if the files Rodriguez destroyed weren't critical, and what we know now is only hearsay from biased unnamed sources, it sure makes him look like one vindictive son of a bitch.

Coach Rod should take the Three Stooges defense:
I'm a victim of circumstance!

I doubt what Rodriguez allegedly did was illegal. I'm guessing no laws were broken, no felony committed. But was his supposed dirty shredding deeds questionable, and more importantly to Michigan, unethical? Not knowing the ins and outs of big time college athletics, and if this is common practice, I'd say it was definitely unethical, and the University of Michigan can't be happy about it.

I'm extremely curious what Rodriguez is going to have to say about what you know is going to known as "Filegate." Supposedly he's going to release a statement through his lawyers later today. Will he issue a CYA statement, or a full denial?

Speaking of denial, Richard Nixon once said "I reject the cynical view that politics is a dirty business." As we found out, politics IS dirty business. Change a couple words, and Tricky Dick could be talking about the dirty business that is college football.


  1. The point that everyone seems to be missing is that Rich Rodriquez is a modern day college football coach, hence not credible ab initio. The only college football coach I would believe if he told me the sun rose in the east is Joe Paterno--for all the other ones, I'd be up at 5:00 AM to check for myself. Among the things leading to Gary Barnett's firing at Colorado was the vaporization of summer camp money. If the document shredding had anything to do with that kind of behavior, Rodriquez could have some serious problems. The comments on the Freep article are really strange (the ones offered by the literate) ranging from throw the bum out now to he's innocent. The last don't seem to get it that if RR destroyed these documents, it sure looks as though he was destroying his employer's property--on the basis that what paper you generate on the job belongs to your employer. Oh well, only a couple more days until the first installment on the $4million he owes WVU is due. Based on the recent reports you have to wonder how many boosters are going to be willing to kick in to keep him around. I just don't think he's going to have a lot of luck persuading a West Virginia jury that the destruction of documents was innocent--if it comes to that--nor do I think he'll have much luck persuading a jury in WV that he doesn't owe the $4 mil. Hell of a hire by Sailboat Bill. If he'd waited a couple of days he probably could have stolen Bobby Petrino from Arkansas. (By the way, Al, your e-mail doesn't work.)

  2. Good points my good Uncle. We've been spoiled all these years with Lloyd, who would never have been accused of any sort of impropriety.

    Michigan football is a lot of things. Proud and arrogant being the most prominent. But after the hoops debacle of the 90's, the last thing they want to be considered is rule breakers. If, and it's a BIG if, the charges are true, the Michigan powers that be in both the administration, and the boosters, may be having second thoughts about RichRod.

    It's truly a new era at U of M.

    By the way, I think the email HTML is fixed...I hope.