Thursday, January 17, 2008
Damning Evidence Against Rodriguez?
The problems continue to mount for Rich Rodriguez. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that shortly after telling his Mountaineer players that he was leaving for Michigan on Dec. 16, the coach called at least two Wolverine recruits using his West Virginia-issued cell phone.
Technically, Rodriguez was still employed by West Virginia, making this a big no-no. In addition, the calls appear to have been placed during a recruiting dead period, meaning contact with recruits was forbidden, according to NCAA rules. This, of course, is an even bigger no-no. (See correction below).
The paper obtained the information through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Rodriguez was also in frequent contact with Central Michigan coach Butch Jones, the only candidate who interviewed twice to replace Rodriguez at West Virginia. The two talked on Nov. 24, the day after the Chippewas beat Akron and advanced to the Mid-American Conference title game, and again on Dec. 5.
Rodriguez and Jones then had a 24-minute conversation late on Dec. 15, the day Rodriguez met Michigan officials in Toledo. He called Jones again and the two had a 17-minute conversation Dec. 17, the day Rodriguez was formally named Michigan coach.
It doesn't end there. On Dec. 19, Rodriguez accepted a call from Fayetteville at 10:29 p.m. The called last nine minutes. Arkansas hired Bobby Petrino as coach two days later. Sleazy business, eh?
A West Virginia Chevrolet dealer sees opportunity in all of this, creating a commercial that we've posted above. "Show me the bread, I'll run the spread."
Rodriguez also ended his silence about the growing scandal, telling the Toledo Blade: "The things they are saying are not true. It's a lie. How can you put out lies and think it's OK? They don't care what the truth is, they just want to smear Rich Rodriguez."
Jim Carty of the Ann Arbor News says it's time for Rodriguez to apologize and pay the $4 million owed to West Virginia, which is taking the coach to court. That lawsuit was transferred to federal court because Rodriguez had moved to Michigan when it was originally filed. And the Charlestown Gazette's Dave Hickman, who broke the story about missing files at West Virginia, gave an interview on WXYT. He said: "I don't think that there's anything in those files that incriminates anyone."
Correction: As a couple of readers have pointed out, contacts with recruits are not forbidden during a dead period and our interpretation of this is incorrect and we regret this error. A phone call is, in fact, permitted.
Posted by dawizofodds at 3:43 AM