Things would appear to be going from bad to worse for Osama bin Rich Rodriguez, football coach, University of Michigan.
To simplify matters, let's introduce the parties involved in this story:
Larry Aschebrook, West Virginia senior director of athletic development. In other words, a fund-raiser for the university. Or was. He left the post earlier this week for a similar job at Arizona State.
Calvin Magee, former offensive coordinator at West Virginia. He now has the same title at Michigan. Magee is African-American.
Rich Rodriguez, Michigan coach who is being sued by West Virginia, his former employer, in an attempt to recover the $4 million buyout clause in the coach's contract.
On Thursday, the Associated Press obtained a sworn affidavit given by Aschebrook, who is alleged to have told Magee he would not have a chance at Rodriguez's former job because he was an African-American.
In the affidavit, Aschebrook denies ever making such a statement and implies that Magee was making the charge on behalf of Rodriguez, who was looking for a way to get out of paying the $4 million buyout.
"It is my firm belief that Mr. Magee has made these allegations simply to divert attention away from the valid-buyout provision in Mr. Rodriguez's contract with the University so as to taint the University in hopes that litigation can be resolved," Aschebrook said.
Aschebrook also detailed a conversation between himself, Rodriguez and Magee. Aschebrook alleged Rodriguez made him a promise of employment at Michigan and added this statement: "This isn't about you Larry, it's about me. You can't afford it, I can't afford it. I don't have $200,000 in the bank. I'm paying for [wife] Rita's family, my family, and [West Virginia is] doing this to me. I'm sorry about this, but it's business not friendship."
Aschebrook's response: "That's fu--ed up Rich."
Dave Hickman of the Charleston Gazette has an interesting take on all of this:
"Face it, the Aschebrook deposition is just one piece of explosive evidence in a case that figures to have many. When Rodriguez and Magee spin the conversation their way it will come out dramatically different, which will make this another he-said, she-said. Maybe it will be significant, maybe not. There are still a lot of other pieces to the puzzle.
"Still, on this day at least, chalk a big one up in the WVU column."
Thanks to Colin, Raman, Chill and John.