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In Coach Rod We Don’t Trust

December 17, 2007
by EDGAR KELLEY, Sports Editor
After hearing the news Friday night that Rich Rodriguez had met with Michigan to discuss taking the job as the Wolverines’ new football coach, my reaction was much different than it was a year ago when the same scenario played out with Alabama.

I recall how much I was hoping that Coach Rod would stay in Morgantown and continue to coach his alma mater. This time around, however, I couldn’t help feel any thing but betrayal. I couldn’t believe he was putting WVU football fans, and better yet his players, through this again.

Many fans I talked to over the weekend felt the same, many of them saying they hoped he accepted the job so that they didn’t have go through this of every season. Another popular sentiment from fans was that if he didn’t want to be at WVU, let him go and we’ll find someone else that does.

That may be easier said than done, though, because what we’ve all come to learn is that just because someone says something, it doesn’t mean it’s entirely the truth. For instance, Rodriguez has been quoted on several occasions saying he wanted to end his career at WVU. As recent as two weeks ago, he made the statement that he just signed a new contract and that we were stuck with him. That quote ironically came after a reporter had made mention of the Michigan job to him.

WVU gave him more than what any West Virginian needs financially. WVU began immediate improvements to the facilities in which he asked. WVU gave pay raises to his assistant coaches. In all, WVU bent over backwards for Rodriguez and he repaid them by jumping ship to Michigan … dirty pool in my book.

When you take into consideration what has transpired and look back at the sworn denials, not only this year but last, about talking to other schools, it becomes evident that Rodriguez just isn’t a very honest person. And that’s something a coach doesn’t want on his resume when it comes to recruiting. Current and future Michigan players need to beware, loyalty means nothing to your new coach – money does. If he’s successful at M-U and the NFL comes a knocking, he’s definitely walking.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the transaction was that Rodriguez spent only 10 minutes of his time to tell his team that he was leaving and not coaching them in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2. Ten minutes! Are you kidding me? You can get dressed for work in ten minutes. If nothing else a heart filled good bye was definitely in order for a bunch of kids that had spilled blood, sweat and tears in Rodriguez’s name over the years.

For all that bleed the Gold and Blue, don’t fret, this could be another blessing in disguise. Just look how the basketball situation worked out, it’s kind of fun watching defense and rebounding….huh.



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