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.


Anonymous said...

A Note to West Virginia

I am a Michigan resident and a graduate of the University of Michigan. Both of our family cars have license plates that clearly show we are from the University of Michigan.

About three years ago, we discovered that one of the finest vacations we could take was a trip to your fine state to enjoy white water rafting. We have been there 4 times for that purpose and had intended to make yet another trip this coming summer. Furthermore, we are planning a trip to DC this spring, and, as we have frequently done in the past, we intended to drive the longer, but far more beautiful route taking us through your state (as opposed to taking the dreary trip along the PA Turnpike). Recent events have caused me to change my mind about these plans, however.

Nothing has changed about white water rafting; I am sure it would be just as much fun this time as on the previous 4 occasions. I also am certain that the many fine West Virginians we have encountered are still there and are just as wonderful as they always have been. Also, I doubt the beauty of your state has diminished one bit since my last trip. What has surfaced in recent weeks, however, is an element of West Virginia that, quite frankly, has me too frightened for the time being to make the journey to or through your state.

We all are aware, both Michiganders and West Virginians, that a coaching change in the college football ranks has stirred up considerable turmoil. What is of concern to me, however, is the extent and intensity of the hostility that seems to be emanating from West Virginians toward the University of Michigan in general and its football team in particular. It has even come to the point where your U.S. Senator has expressed his anger. (I haven’t checked, but is he up for reelection this year?)

In any event, to put it in simple terms, at present I have grave concerns that my or my family’s safety would be in jeopardy should we venture into or through West Virginia in an automobile that clearly identifies us as being affiliated with the University of Michigan and as fans of its football program. I understand that those West Virginians who have taken the most extreme stand on this controversy may well be a distinct and very small minority of your residents. Nevertheless, it would only take one such person to place my safety or that of my family in peril. While most of Baghdad may be secure, I would not place it at the top of my list for enjoyable vacation destinations.

So citizens of West Virginia, while I regret not being able to enjoy your state for a while, I wish to convey to you the reason. As soon as you folks can get things under control down there, I may reconsider. But for now……

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a litte long winded.

I don't know how in the world the State of West Virginia will ever get by this year with out the $400 revenue generated from your tourism?

We better go back over the state budget with a fine toothed comb otherwise we might be staring down some economic hardship at years end.

You're a sally if you're scared to drive through our state sporting Michigan plates. Cause we all know that around every corner lurks a disgruntled West Virginian.

Get a clue man!

Anonymous said...

God, you are all idiots. Read mgoblog's explanation. It's the most intelligent blog on the the whole web.

Dave said...

I don't think everyone's an idiot, but if MGoBlog is right about the dead period rules, then there's a case to be made that people need to take a few steps back from beating on RichRod.

Anonymous said...

Seriously. Go check your facts - you are ALLOWED to call recruits during a dead period.

Anonymous said...

Bluefiled, WVa couldnt be further from Morgantown.

Bluefield is located at the bottom right of the state and is an extremely short drive to Virginia. You'd get to Charlotte, NC (bottom of North Carolina) quicker than you would get to Morgantown, WVa from Bluefiled.

Anonymous said...

I started to post about this until I realized someone on another blog has already mentioned, but hell, I'll post anyways.

This: "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." IS 100 % WRONG. EGREGIOUSLY WRONG.

Come on, man. I read blogs like yours because I respect the work and thoroughness of the research that bloggers do more than MSM... don't just swallow up their "cram it under the deadline and push our agenda" articles up whole!

Check the by-laws. Man. People really don't know what "dead period" means in recruiting... I guess the adjective "dead" is all they know, and assume it's incredibly restrictive. It's not.

Usually, in these situations, bloggers are the ones jumping on the MSM and pointing out that these idiots are rushing to judgment, and airing dirty laundry, pushing agendas, and cramming crap down our throats all based on anonymous sources. Don't let the blogs do the same thing!

Anonymous said...

West Virginia.


Two places I wouldn't bother to shit on.

Commenter #1, take your phony self-rightousness, fold it into nice square corners, and shove it straight up your ass.

John Schmit

Anonymous said...

When did this become a blog about white water rafting?

Anonymous said...

poster #1 is a big pussy. I bet he drives a 1994 dodge caravan. But It's cool cause he has personalized Michigan plates!!

Anonymous said...

Actually poster #1, sounds like Richer Rods arrival is already affecting your weekends the same as his bandit-like departure affected ours. Take care of our boy for us. But I warn you, he pulls temper tantrums and is spoiled rotten.