Rodriguez Meets With Michigan

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez declined comment Friday on a report that he was meeting with Michigan officials about the Wolverines' football coaching vacancy.
Rodriguez said little upon arriving at the Morgantown airport on a flight from Toledo, Ohio.
"Going to practice. I'm going to practice," he said Friday evening before getting into his car.
Friday's meeting was first reported by Sporting News Radio, which said Rodriguez and his agent were in Toledo to talk with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and university president Mary Sue Coleman.
Michigan is looking for a replacement for Lloyd Carr, who announced his retirement last month after 13 seasons. The Wolverines had lured basketball coach John Beilein away from West Virginia last April after firing Tommy Amaker in mid-March.
West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong said he was unaware Rodriguez, who has a hefty buyout clause in his contract, was in Toledo.
"He has not shared that with me," Pastilong told The Associated Press.
Pastilong would not say whether West Virginia had given Michigan permission to talk to Rodriguez, citing university policy.
When asked further whether he knew Rodriguez was talking to Michigan, Pastilong said, "Rich has not mentioned anything of that nature to me. Secondly, we have a strong commitment with Rich, a strong contract. We're strongly committed to him and he's strongly committed to us.
"I think it would be unusual that he would be doing that without sharing it with us."
Michigan athletic department spokesman Bruce Madej said Friday he was unaware of any talks with Rodriguez.
On the day Carr announced he was stepping down, Martin said he hoped to complete the hiring process quickly.
But LSU's Les Miles said earlier this month he wasn't a candidate for the Michigan job and signed a contract extension with the Tigers.
Rutgers' Greg Schiano said last week after being contacted about the Michigan job that he was staying with the Scarlet Knights.
After a 13-9 loss to Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale knocked West Virginia out of the national championship game, Rodriguez said he wasn't on the coaching carousel this year.
"I'm not in it now, not that I know of," Rodriguez said on Dec. 3. "I'm not blogging anybody, if that's what you call it.
"The impact of your name being thrown about is sometimes a little overrated. It probably makes for a lot of angst among families and we don't want that. Sorry, but you all are stuck with me here."
Rodriguez has a 60-26 record at No. 11 West Virginia (10-2), which plays No. 3 Oklahoma (11-2) next month in the Fiesta Bowl.
Last December, Rodriguez agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2013 after he turned down a lucrative offer from Alabama. The extension includes a $4 million buyout clause if he leaves before August 2008. That doubles the amount from the previous contract.
Beilein had a $2.5 million buyout clause in his West Virginia contract, but under an agreement with the university he agreed to pay $1.5 million to the WVU Foundation for leaving for Michigan with five years remaining on his contract


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