- Michigan has sent out this week’s injury report, and only three players are listed on it: David Moosman, Tim McAvoy, and Junior Hemingway. Moosman, as expected, is out. McAvoy, who missed the first two games with a knee injury, is also out. Hemingway, on the other hand, is probable, meaning he should play barring any last-minute setbacks.
- Also in the release is that the captains for tomorrow’s game against Eastern Michigan will be wide receiver LaTerryal Savoy, wide receiver Jon Conover, defensive end Brandon Graham, and kicker Jason Olesnavage.
- John Ferrara may fill in for Moosman as the starting right guard.
- I previewed the Eastern Michigan game over on Go Blue Michigan Wolverine.
- Tate Forcier has been named the AT&T All-America Player of the Week.
- Rich Rodriguez has no plans to move quarterback Denard Robinson to a new position now that Tate Forcier appears to be set in stone as the starter. I don’t even know why Rodriguez was asked about this, as it’s not like Michigan’s depth at QB got any better because of how Forcier played. It’s great to have one player stand out and solidify his role as the starting QB, but depth is still thin. Maybe when Devin Gardner comes to Michigan next year this would be a legitimate question, but it makes no sense for it to be asked right now.
- AnnArbor.com interviewed Nick Sheridan.
- An unofficial “Forcier4Heisman” site has popped up. It seems a bit early to be proclaiming Forcier as a Heisman candidate, but the site has a disclaimer saying that it is for “The Unofficial Start to the Inevitable Hype” that Forcier will win the Heisman by 2012.
- Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman was mentioned in an article about Myles Brand, speculating that she could be a candidate to replace him. She laughed off the article, though, saying “I’ve got the best job in the world.”
- A picture of the Drew Sharp sign I mentioned earlier this week has been posted on mgoblog.
- A highlight video of the first two games has been set to “Lose Yourself,” which was one of the songs piped in last Saturday (and likely will become a staple of piped in music based on the reaction).
- When totaling up his salary, the money Michigan paid for his buyout and the taxes on the buyout, and other compensation, Rich Rodriguez earned $6.6 million in 2008. Of course, the Ann Arbor News decided to write an article that bashed Michigan for paying so much money to a football coach. And what better way to do that than find a random person from a random school to act as an “expert” on the matter?
Altogether, the coach cost Michigan $6.6 million in 2008, a number that dwarfs the $553,500 earned by school president Mary Sue Coleman and the $380,368 earned by athletic director Bill Martin.
Neither Martin nor Rodriguez responded to requests for comment made through athletic department spokesmen. But Kadie Otto, an assistant sport management professor at Western Carolina and president of The Drake Group, a national organization devoted to reforming college athletics, said the millions spent on Rodriguez speaks volumes.
“It says a lot about our value system,” Otto said. “For an employee of higher education to be making that kind of money when faculty wouldn’t even approach that in their lifetime seems to be sending a mixed message.”
What exactly is that mixed message, Kadie? To me, this whole matter is pretty simple. Football brings in lots of revenue for the University of Michigan athletic department, which has been profitable for some time now thanks to many different things. In turn, the athletic department uses the revenue it makes to pay its coaches. For college football, coaches make lots of money. That’s just the way it is, and Michigan has to pay millions and millions of dollars to keep up with other schools around the country. Can it be argued that coaches make too much money? Sure, but that is an entirely different argument and has nothing to do with how much money faculty are paid. If the university paid Rodriguez then that would be different, but the athletic department uses the money it generates to do that.
I just love how the Ann Arbor News felt it was necessary to make an issue out of something that isn’t even relevant to the main part of their story. They could have talked about where Rodriguez’s total compensation ranked with other coaches around the country or, if they were looking for something negative, talk about how Rodriguez earned $2.2 million a win. But no, they decided to try to make an issue out of the fact that college football coaches make more money than faculty. Thank you, Captain Obvious.
- U-M Regents approved the building of a basketball practice facility on Thursday. The next step is to design the facility and then present the construction schedule and schematic design to the Regents for approval.
- This weekend’s hockey schedule:
Friday: Michigan vs. Michigan State at Joe Louis Arena; 7:35 PM; FSN Plus
Saturday: Michigan vs. Michigan State at Yost Arena; 7:35 PM; FSN Detroit
- Michigan’s game against Northwestern in basketball on Saturday starts at 8:00 PM and will be on the Big Ten Network.
- Michigan commit Justin Turner is now the #1 ranked recruit in the state of Ohio.
- Michigan came in at #8 in ESPN’s countdown of the most prestigious college football programs.
Rich Rodriguez signed his contract last Friday, and the Ann Arbor News has a copy of it. It isn’t unusual for college coaches to take a long time to sign their contracts, so the fact that it took Rodriguez around 10 months to do so really doesn’t mean anything. I am glad he finally did sign it, as that is one less distraction for Rodriguez and the football program as a whole.
Below is a rundown of anything worth noting from the contract.
- The contract lasts six years.
- A normal contract year begins on January 1 and ends on December 31. The first contract year goes from December 19 of last year to December 31, 2008.
- Rodriguez’s base salary for the first contract year is $300,000.
- “Additional compensation” will be paid annually to Rodriguez in the amount of $1,650,000.
- If Michigan goes to a non-New Year’s Day bowl game, Rodriguez will receive a $50,000 bonus. If Michigan goes to a New Year’s Day non-BCS bowl, Rodriguez will get $100,000. Finally, if Michigan goes to a BCS game, Rodriguez will be paid a $200,000 bonus.
- If Michigan wins the BCS National Championship Game, Rodriguez would receive an additional $300,000.
- Michigan’s $2.5 million payment to West Virginia for part of Rodriguez’s buyout will be taxed. It doesn’t appear that it has been determined if Michigan or Rodriguez will pay the taxes.
- Rodriguez and his family get to use two cars as part of the athletic department’s “dealer provided automobile program.”
- Michigan is responsible for paying Rodriguez’s moving expenses.
- Rodriguez will get $550,000 in deferred income each year. He will get that money when he is no longer the head coach.
- Rodriguez will get a private viewing box in 2010 in the new press box area.
- If Michigan were to terminate Rodriguez without cause in the first three years of his contract, he would receive $4 million. If he was fired in the fourth or fifth year of his contract, he would get $2.5 million. Finally, if he was fired in the sixth and final year of his contract, he would get $1.5 million.
- If Rodriguez terminated his contract, he would be responsible for paying Michigan the same amounts listed above.
- $1,950,000 can be used to pay nine assistant coaches and the strength and conditioning coach.
- The assistant coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator will be offered only one-year contracts.
- Rodriguez and Bill Martin have “joint responsibility” in scheduling games, though Martin has the final say.
- Mary Sue Coleman, Bill Martin, and Rich Rodriguez all signed the contract.
- The NCAA Tournament begins today, meaning work productivity is about to take a huge hit. To help the cause, let me tell you about something that anyone at work should know about. It’s called March Madness on Demand. MMOD will allow you to watch games live (except for the one being shown in your local market) and will make the day go by much quicker. And in case your boss happens to stroll by when you’re watching, there’s a handy “boss button” that displays a spreadsheet with one click, saving you from possibly getting fired.
- My picks for the NCAA Tournament can be found here. I have North Carolina winning it all over UCLA in a close game.
- Awful Announcing has the coverage maps for the first-round games of the Big Dance.
- Charles Woodson donated $150,000 to the University of Michigan for two scholarships.
- The Michigan women’s basketball team is in the WNIT. This is the first time the women’s team has played in the postseason since 2002. Considering where this team was a year ago, I’d say any postseason tournament is a huge step in the right direction. It just shows you that Kevin Borseth is a great coach and has the program headed for bigger and better things.
- The Big Ten Network has a video on spring practice for the football team. MGoBlue has another one as well.
- Sam Webb talks Michigan recruiting and the impact Mike Barwis is having on it.
- Yesterday was supposed to be the Michigan baseball team’s first home game since renovations overhauled Fisher Stadium, but bad weather postponed the contest against Oakland.
- Michigan men’s basketball assistant coach Jerry Dunn is a finalist for the James Madison job.
- Maize & Blog compared the hockey and basketball teams’ games from last Friday, and the results are pretty depressing for basketball fans.
- If you have a Wii and are planning on getting NCAA Football 09 for it this summer, make sure to keep the cover out of sight as Sparty is on it.
- The Ann Arbor News’ 4-day series on Michigan athletes and academics wrapped up yesterday, and I’ll admit, I didn’t even bother reading the new articles. I tried, but after the first few lines couldn’t stand to read anymore. Overall, the series turned out to be a whole lot of nothing to me. Basically, the AA News pointed out over the last 4 days that Michigan athletes take easier classes, don’t take on majors that require a lot of time, and get put in easy classes to boost their GPA. Well thanks, because that was such a well kept secret.
I get that the attitude of “everyone is doing it, so we can too” isn’t a good one to have, but to seriously compete in college athletics, athletes don’t have the time to dedicate their lives to academics. That’s just the way it is. And although some may say that the Ann Arbor News did a great job investigating this issue at Michigan, I would strongly disagree. Nothing new was brought up over the course of this series, and I really am surprised that 7 months of work resulted in things we already knew for the most part. Then again, if 7 months of investigating only turned up the notion that athletes have an easier time in the classroom, then it is a sigh of relief as that much time spent digging into some schools would uncover things much worse.
- I usually never see eye-to-eye with Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, but I commend her for defending the University against the Ann Arbor News’ series.
- Finally, I think Autumn Thunder sums up the thoughts of most Michigan fans with what I would say is his best photoshop yet. I know, I know, Carty wasn’t the only one behind this series as many people were involved, but he has become the main target of criticism for some reason.
It looks like Michigan boosters may not have to pick up the tab on Rich Rodriguez’s buyout after all, as his lawyers are going to contest it. His lawyers are basically claiming that the contract was signed with the assumption that certain promises made would be kept, but obviously something went wrong since then in regards to those promises. The whole issue of these promises sounds like one of the main reasons that Coach Rod left Morgantown for Ann Arbor, or at least helped him make the decision to come to Michigan.
You can find the promises that were supposedly broken by checking out this article from ESPN.com, but what is even more interesting is what a friend and donor to the West Virginia program had to say on this whole situation.
Ken Kendrick, a primary West Virginia athletics donor and close friend of Rodriguez, said Tuesday he had knowledge of lawyers’ intentions to contest the buyout.
“I will be a witness to any and all proceedings that occur,” said Kendrick, who is the managing general partner of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks. “They baited and switched him. Rich was boxed in by a university and athletic department that was arrogant, mean-spirited and intellectually bankrupt.
“How can someone like me now commit money to this university?”
If you think our athletic department has its own issues, get a load of what Kendrick says next.
“I believe Rich will have a strong case against the university,” Kendrick said. “They should and will fight the university. How could this happen?”
Kendrick said he and other donors stated they would fund the requests but their offer was denied.
“This was 100 percent preventable, which is what makes it so sad,” Kendrick said. “He was frustrated. Things weren’t getting done. He’d never say it because he’s a class act. So I’ll say it.”
For those that criticize Coach Rod for leaving his alma mater and the place where he grew up, it truly looks like he did it because of these issues with the athletic department. I mean, it would take some extraordinary circumstances to be able to get a coach to leave his alma mater and a place he’s called home for so long, but luckily for Michigan, those circumstances existed with Rodriguez.
One of the things Coach Rod mentioned in the press conference on Monday was that he asked Bill Martin and Mary Sue Coleman about certain things that would make the football program better, or something like that. Nothing specifically was said in regards to what those things were, but from the sounds of it they were probably the aforementioned promises broken by West Virginia. What’s interesting is that Coach Rod said that the things he asked about were already in place or in the process of being in place. Rather than have to work extra hard to get better facilities or more money to give your assistants, that is already happening here at Michigan.
With the stadium being renovated over the next few years, it will be modernized and will be very attractive to any recruits coming in on visits. And then a brand new practice facility for the football team is currently being built, which is an added plus for someone like Coach Rod. Since things like that would have to be requested at a place like West Virginia, he can come here to Michigan with the ball rolling already.
Even though to some it may seem like Coach Rod was asking for too much, to me it sounds like he was just doing everything possible to make the football program better. Rather than blame him for being a traitor or something like that, although I do understand that West Virginia fans will be angry, they ought to look at their athletic department first, because that’s where it appears the ball was dropped.
- Calls leaving a very difficult decision. Only a special opportunity would make him leave, which is what Michigan is.
- Thanks Bill Martin and Mary Sue Coleman for being honest and classy throughout the process.
- Is studying the tradition and is excited about following a legend (Lloyd Carr).
- Got Bo’s new book from the Mayor of Toledo, who is a big Michigan fan.
- Introduces his family: wife Rita, daughter Raquel, son Rhett, and mother-in-law.
- Introduces staff members that came with him: offensive coordinator Calvin Magee and recruiting coordinator/defensive backs coach Tony Gibson.
- Says he has not spoken with West Virginia about coaching in the Fiesta Bowl, as he doesn’t want to be a distraction.
- Don’t compare West Virginia to Michigan. Simply changed jobs.
- Happy to be back with his great friend/former neighbor John Beilein.
- Won’t change his playing style. Can adapt the system to the players he has.
- Players will work hard during the offseason, but will have a lot of fun.
- The staff put together will work extremely hard.
- Doesn’t want his team to expect to win, but rather deserve to win and win the right way.
- Doesn’t know the timeframe. Will talk to Lloyd Carr and Bill Martin after going back to West Virginia later today (will find out bowl situation then).
- Most difficult decision he’s ever made in his career.
- Left for the opportunity at Michigan. “Take a job as it’s the last job you’ll ever have.”
- Was time for him to leave.
- Lawyers are working on buyout.
- Has always adapted his offense to the players he has.
- There will be transition.
- Mentioned hecklers as he left airport. [These guys?]
- Hopes to meet some players today.
- Hecklers got him ready for U-M/OSU rivalry by chanting O-H-I-O as he left. [The poster from the link posted above said he did that.]
- Says process is in the past and references to the Lion King to get his point across.
- Martin and Coleman will allow Rodriguez to coach bowl game if he wants to.
- Says he hopes this will be his last job. Plans to retire here.
- Was the youngest football coach at 24 (at Salem) and was the youngest fired at 25.
- Thinks you can learn tradition.
- “You don’t have to be a Michigan man to be a Michigan coach.”
- Talked to Coach Nehlen (former WVU head coach/assistant under Bo) about the decision.
- Doesn’t have the entire staff in mind, but has a few. There will be a few from West Virginia that will come. Wants to interview the current staff as well.
- You can take the great thrower and build your offense around that or the great runner and do the same.
- Observing bowl practice will be up to Coach Carr.
- Doesn’t want to distract from bowl preparation.
- Wants to run a similar defense at Michigan (3-3-5) as he did at WVU.
- Apologizes if quick decision caught anyone off guard. It caught himself off guard.
- Asked about being the third choice for this job. Says he didn’t ask and he doesn’t care.
Now official from the Detroit Free Press:
Michigan has a new football coach.
West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez, who met with U-M president Mary Sue Coleman and athletic director Bill Martin on Friday in Toledo, has accepted the Michigan coaching job, replacing retiring coach Lloyd Carr, the Free Press learned this afternoon.
An official announcement is expected at 3 p.m.
The article also mentions a part of what Terrelle Pryor said in the previously linked article from Scout.com.
“I just spoke to Coach Rodriguez about 10 minutes ago and he told me he is going to Michigan,” the QB, Terrelle Pryor, told Superprep.com. “He said they made him an offer he can’t refuse.”
Much more as it comes out.
I think this weekend may be just as exciting as the Les Miles fiasco was a couple weeks ago. The only difference is that this time it could be good news for Michigan.
The general consensus right now is that things are looking good for Michigan, but things can change very quickly. Rich Rodriguez had a change of heart as he almost took the Alabama job last year, so I’m trying not to get too excited until he is in Ann Arbor and the contract is signed.
As we wait to hear more about whether or not R-Rod is Michigan’s new coach, I have to give the Sporting News a lot of credit for being the first to report on this story. I originally questioned the credibility of the report, but was wrong as Rodriguez was in Toledo to meet with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and president Mary Sue Coleman, as the Free Press and News both confirmed.
Right now, I wouldn’t stray too far from your computer as I have a feeling good news is on the horizon. I would call it a hunch right now, so just stay tuned.
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