Decision Nearing On Rodriguez To Michigan

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Rich Rodriguez discussed taking West Virginia to its second BCS game in three seasons and the challenge of facing Oklahoma's offense.
What the Mountaineers' coach didn't want to talk about Saturday was Michigan's vacant head coaching job.
Rodriguez said at the opening of a previously scheduled news conference on No. 11 West Virginia's trip to the Fiesta Bowl that he was only going to focus on preparations to face the third-ranked Sooners.
"It may be disappointing to you, but I am not going to talk about any rumors or innuendo or jobs or what else is floating out there," Rodriguez said.
The questions about Michigan persisted, and Rodriguez fired back.
"You all have not understood what I just said. One more question and this conference, unfortunately, and you all have been super, but if the questions persist outside of that then this thing will be over," he said.
A reporter then asked whether Rodriguez would coach the team in the Fiesta Bowl.
"You're a tricky guy," Rodriguez said.
Some players indicated Rodriguez hadn't spoken to them about Michigan and that they were under orders to keep quiet.
"I'm not supposed to talk about that. I'm sorry," offensive lineman Ryan Stanchek said Saturday.
West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong spoke with Rodriguez on Saturday.
"We talked about general issues within the football program," Pastilong told The Charleston Gazette, declining to be more specific.
Pastilong, who didn't immediately return a telephone message to The Associated Press, told the newspaper "we'll know something very fast" in regard to Rodriguez's decision.
Rodriguez arrived back in Morgantown on Friday with his wife after taking a flight from Ohio. He said he was going to his team's first bowl practice, then got into his car.
Sporting News Radio, citing unidentified sources, reported Friday that Rodriguez and his agent were in Toledo to talk with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and university president Mary Sue Coleman.
Pastilong had said he was unaware Rodriguez had gone to Toledo and declined to disclose whether he had given Michigan permission to talk to the coach.
Michigan's coaching search is nearly a month old. LSU's Les Miles and Rutgers' Greg Schiano have said they were staying put at their schools.
Michigan's Lloyd Carr announced his retirement Nov. 19 after 13 seasons. He'll coach the Wolverines in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1 against No. 9 Florida.
Rodriguez's contract, which runs through the 2013 season, has a $4 million buyout clause if he leaves before next September.
When Michigan lured basketball coach John Beilein away from West Virginia last April, Beilein's contract had a $2.5 million buyout clause. Under an agreement with West Virginia, he agreed to pay $1.5 million to the WVU Foundation.
The Michigan rumblings come a year after Rodriguez was courted by Alabama. The rumors and questions wore on the Mountaineers for several days before he turned down a lucrative offer from the Crimson Tide and agreed to a one-year contract extension at West Virginia through 2013.
Rodriguez, who has a 60-26 record at West Virginia, led the Mountaineers (10-2) to their fourth Big East title in five seasons.


WILX.com is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards.

powered by Disqus
WILX 500 American Road Lansing, MI 48911 517-393-0110
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 12534411 - wilx.com/a?a=12534411