It didn't take long for fingers to start getting pointed in Morgantown, West Virginia. First basketball coach John Beilein defects to Michigan and now Rich Rodriguez follows suits. Beilein didn't bother that many because it's basketball, but Rodriguez was different. Donors are threatening to withhold monies claiming the school's administrators botched any more to keep Rodriguez. The coach himself reportedly is going to contest the $4 million buyout of his contract. His lawyers apparently claim it was fraudulently written and is not valid. Stay tuned. Beilein's buyout was $2.5 million and was negotiated down to $1.5 million. Associate head coach Bill Stewart will run Fiesta Bowl practices for the time being. West Virginia hopes to have a successor soon.
I had Rodriguez on my Michigan short list the moment Lloyd Carr stepped down a month ago. I didn't know if he'd be contacted or not-- why would he with Les Miles out there? But I think Rodriguez offers a much better age, 44, than Miles does at ten years Rodriguez' senior. I'll bet it doesn't take Michigan long to chase Ohio State closely for Big Ten supremacy. As it is the teams finished 1-2 this past season anyway. None of the Michigan recruits is reportedly leaving for other schools. Some 17 players have verballed so Rodriguez only has about a half dozen more to land any way.
The bowl games get somewhat ruined when coaches of competing teams leave prior to the games. West Virginia's Fiesta Bowl match up with Oklahoma is now tainted with Rodriguez gone. I think the NCAA should institute a rule whereby no coach of a division school playing in a bowl game may even be contacted until after the bowl season. At the same time I'd move the signing date back by at least a month so everyone would have plenty of time to make coaching and recruit signing moves.
Now to Delvon Roe. Who knows how much he loses by not playing his senior year of basketball near Cleveland. But it can't help his development and his first game looked pretty good considering his knee was so badly damaged. Tom Izzo can only hope that his injury gets fully healed-- Izzo loves this guy and he would be a prime factor in the Spartans' run to the 2009 Final Four at Ford Field.