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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby stomperrob » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:39 pm

Friday, January 25, 2008
Rodriguez: West Virginia broke promises
Vicki Smith / Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- More than two weeks after he was sued over a $4 million buyout clause in his contract at West Virginia, Rich Rodriguez turned in a second resignation letter, claiming university president Mike Garrison reneged on a deal to reduce and possibly eliminate the clause.

The letter obtained by The Associated Press and bearing Rodriguez's name indicates the tack his legal defense will take when he files a response to that lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

Rodriguez resigned with a one-sentence letter on Dec. 18 to take coaching job at Michigan, touching off a bitter public dispute in which each side has accused the other of lying. The latest letter is dated Jan. 10.

WVU general counsel Alex Macia did not immediately confirm that the university had received the letter, and WVU spokesman Bill Case did not immediately respond to a phone call this morning asking for Garrison's response.

The disintegration of the relationship between Rodriguez and the WVU Athletic Department is documented in a series of e-mails written over a five-month period and released to the AP under the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

They show Rodriguez's agent, Mike Brown, fighting to get his client more operational and marketing control over the football program, and over money Rodriguez helped raise through a booster organization he founded. They also show Brown threatening to take his client elsewhere as early as mid-November.

WVU sued Rodriguez for breach of contract on Dec. 27.

In his latest letter, sent to Athletic Director Ed Pastilong, Rodriguez restated his displeasure with how slowly WVU was responding to additional demands he made in December 2006, when he passed up a $12 million deal at Alabama. They included allowing him to have his own Web site, an issue that raised legal concerns for the university.

Rodriguez ultimately signed the new contract with West Virginia on Aug. 24, 2007.

Though the university has acknowledged it planned to reduce his buyout clause to $2 million in 2008, the Jan. 10 letter claims that Garrison told Rodriguez "he did not believe in buyouts" and might eliminate it entirely.

"He knew I did not want to sign it with the large buyout but assured me that as soon as he took office he would address it," the letter says. "I told him the $4 million buyout was unfair and Garrison agreed but said the Board of Governors would not change it at the time due to publicity concerns."

E-mails from Garrison chief of staff Craig Walker show the university was still working on Rodriguez's demands as of Dec. 13, 2007, and the administration has told the AP it did not change its position after that date.

Rodriguez's letter, however, claims that he was told on Dec. 15 in a private meeting with Garrison that the university had done all it could and would not honor his outstanding requests.

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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby Kilroy » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:57 pm

Seems pretty evident why he wanted that buyout clause eliminated now, don't it?
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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby stomperrob » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:09 am

Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Bob Wojnowski:
U-M's Rodriguez needs Pryor commitment

Lawsuits and counter-suits, charges and counter charges. A high-profile tussle for the No. 1 recruit in the country, the Kid Who Could Change Everything.

Wow. Michigan football hasn't gone through anything this crazy since, well, since forever.

Seven weeks after he left West Virginia, Rich Rodriguez still is trying to extricate himself from West Virginia, while trying to show Michigan why he's worth all the fuss, all the money, all the plaudits.

That's why the next couple of days are unusually big around Ann Arbor, and particularly big for Rodriguez. Pennsylvania high school quarterback Terrelle Pryor is the No. 1 recruit in the country. You might have heard of him. He's 6-foot-6 with ridiculous speed and ran for 36 touchdowns last season. One of his autographed wristbands was listed on eBay for $349. He's considered a Vince Young clone destined to tilt the balance of power in the Big Ten.

Uh, OK. Maybe he will.

I refuse to believe the futures of two storied programs -- Michigan and Ohio State -- are tightly tied to one high school senior, who might announce his decision Wednesday. But I will say this: Rodriguez needs a significant victory to shift the focus from the bizarre accusations out of West Virginia, and to signal that Jim Tressel won't win every battle.

Grabbing a top recruit from a bitter rival would be a notable opening volley for Rodriguez, who chatted with Tressel at Pryor's basketball game Saturday night in Jeannette, Pa. Rodriguez wore a leather-collared jacket. Tressel wore a traditional suit. Ah, contrasting images already are forming.

Rodriguez needs to adjust
Some observers have Pryor likely pegged for the Buckeyes, but few are ruling out the Wolverines, not with the pull of Rodriguez's spread-option offense, not with Michigan's yawning hole at quarterback. I figure Michigan has a decent shot because Rodriguez knows Pryor well and the new coach didn't do much to keep incumbent Ryan Mallett, showing how desperately he needs someone to run his offense -- immediately.

But a little perspective is warranted here. If Pryor signs with U-M, that doesn't mean Rodriguez is a great recruiter and success is guaranteed. And if Pryor goes elsewhere, it better not doom the Wolverines.

Rodriguez has to be smart enough to adjust and I think he is, although his messy divorce from West Virginia makes you wonder. Rodriguez says he doesn't owe his former employer $4 million. His former employer says yes you do, it says so right here in the contract you broke.

Michigan has been patiently quiet through all this, but cripes, Rodriguez and his legal people need to settle it before it drags into court. West Virginia, portrayed as the bumbling fool to Rodriguez's scheming traitor (neither characterization is completely fair), needs to settle it too. Believe me, that school is doing itself no favors by revealing its curious inner workings, from the meddling state governor to the embattled athletic director.

Enough is enough. I could say the same about the wild obsession over Pryor but I'm not some idealistic dope. I know recruiting means plenty in college football. It's just unsettling, and unrealistic, for Michigan's hopes to be tied to one player or one position.

A hole at quarterback
When Rodriguez and others talk about growing pains at U-M, they're mostly talking about growing pains with the offense, which means they're talking about growing pains at quarterback. Mallett departed, leaving redshirt freshman Steven Threet, a touted prospect from Adrian who transferred from Georgia Tech, as the lone viable option.

So while I understand the Pryor hype, I won't be duped by it. Wasn't Mallett the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the country a year ago? He was a huge prize for Lloyd Carr, and yet fans greeted his transfer to Arkansas with shrugs.

Wasn't Jimmy Clausen the No. 1 prospect last year? Sure, the same Clausen who deftly guided Notre Dame to a 3-9 season.

Michigan might have a rough transition regardless of what Pryor does, so Rodriguez needs every sign of progress he can find. Naturally, fans are latching onto any hint of Pryor's thinking.

He befriended other Buckeye recruits and -- gasp! -- wore an Ohio State sticker at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. But wait -- he also wore a Michigan sweatshirt! And a cousin, Toney Clemons, plays for Michigan. And one of Pryor's advisers is Charlie Batch, who played for Eastern Michigan and the Lions, so that means, um, I have no idea what it means.

Somewhere, Bo Schembechler is rubbing his eyes in amazement. Amid the mania, the concern is Michigan always will be tied to its quarterback now. That's not a horrible thing -- the Wolverines have done pretty well with quarterbacks over the years.

Of course, Tom Brady almost lost his spot at Michigan when Carr signed Drew Henson, the talented kid out of Brighton. Henson, like Pryor, was a two-sport star with unlimited potential. Unfortunately, Henson found limits when he broke a foot, then made the ill-fated decision to sign with the Yankees.

Keeping healthy
Dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks don't necessarily have immediate success but they often have an impact -- if they stay healthy. Pat White, relatively unheralded in high school, rushed for 952 yards in Rodriguez's offense as a redshirt freshman in 2005, and West Virginia went 11-1. This past season, West Virginia was headed to the national championship game until White hurt his thumb in a 13-9 loss to Pittsburgh.

Similarly, Oregon's spread offense was unstoppable -- until quarterback Dennis Dixon injured a knee. As for Pryor's alleged predecessor, Young rushed for 998 yards his first year as Texas' starter, then in 2005 led the Longhorns to the national title, running for 1,050 yards.

U-M entered the crazy arms race, er, crazy legs race the moment it hired Rodriguez. The Wolverines aren't in the habit of searching for saviors and Pryor shouldn't be viewed that way. But it's fair to admit this: Believing in Rodriguez's plan becomes considerably easier if he gets his quarterback.
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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby stomperrob » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:14 am

Tuesday, February 5, 2008
U-M lands fast receiver from Texas
Tom Markowski / The Detroit News

Michigan received two commitments Monday and Michigan State took one away from Central Michigan.

The big name for the Wolverines is Terrence Robinson, a running back/receiver from Klein, Texas. The recruiting Web site rivals.com wrote that he is a "steal" for new U-M coach Rich Rodriguez.

Robinson isn't big (5-foot-9, 170) but he's fast (4.4 in the 40-yard dash). U-M could use him as a slot receiver, kick returner or a part-time running back.

Boston College, Nebraska and Oregon were among the schools recruiting Robinson. Scout.com lists Robinson as a four-star recruit.

The other commitment U-M received was from safety Justin Feagin of Delray Beach, Fla. Feagin made his official visit to U-M this past weekend. Scout.com lists Feagin as a two-star recruit.

Zac Hueter, a 6-8, 295-pound offensive tackle from North Branch and the No. 30 player on The Detroit News' Blue Chip list, switched his commitment Monday from Central Michigan to MSU.

"We thought Michigan State wasn't interested anymore," North Branch interim coach Pat Forster said. "About two weeks ago they contacted Zac and then contacted me. Zac was extremely happy with Central Michigan and the coaching staff there. This is an opportunity for him to play in the Big Ten."
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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby Kilroy » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:30 am

Y'all can keep tellin' yourselves whatever you want, but given how much wonderful publicity Rodriguez has been getting of late and the fact that Pryor might actually want to be an NFL quarterback someday (a dream he can pretty much kiss bye-bye if he signs on to run a gimmick College offense) do you really think he's going to Ann Arbor?

Really? :-?

Ya know, as much time as UM fans like to spend in the Ohio State thread flapping their gums I really do need to come in here more.

Really. }:-)
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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:43 am

Kilroy1872 wrote:Y'all can keep tellin' yourselves whatever you want, but given how much wonderful publicity Rodriguez has been getting of late and the fact that Pryor might actually want to be an NFL quarterback someday (a dream he can pretty much kiss bye-bye if he signs on to run a gimmick College offense) do you really think he's going to Ann Arbor?

Really? :-?

Ya know, as much time as UM fans like to spend in the Ohio State thread flapping their gums I really do need to come in here more.

Really. }:-)


Really?
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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby CC » Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:01 pm

Kilroy1872 wrote:Y'all can keep tellin' yourselves whatever you want, but given how much wonderful publicity Rodriguez has been getting of late and the fact that Pryor might actually want to be an NFL quarterback someday (a dream he can pretty much kiss bye-bye if he signs on to run a gimmick College offense) do you really think he's going to Ann Arbor?

Really? :-?

Ya know, as much time as UM fans like to spend in the Ohio State thread flapping their gums I really do need to come in here more.

Really. }:-)


I guess he should go to OSU for his shot to follow in the steps of dominant NFL players Craig Krenzel, Troy Smith, Justin Zwick, and Joe Germaine then eh?

I can see people arguing that RR can't send a QB to the NFL (even though Shaun King was a 2nd round pick under his tutelage) but he has never really had anyone to work with other than throwaway prospects, so who knows what he can do with talent? Tressel on the other hand has never shown anything as far as churning out top pro prospects, at least Michigan is QB U. Henne, Navarre, Henson, Brady, Griese, Grbac.

Been a long time since we didn't send a starter to the NFL and apart from Navarre and Henson (who would've been the 1st overall pick if he had stuck with football) those other guys are all pretty solid NFL QBs.
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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby The Balanced Man » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:18 am

CC wrote:
Kilroy1872 wrote:Y'all can keep tellin' yourselves whatever you want, but given how much wonderful publicity Rodriguez has been getting of late and the fact that Pryor might actually want to be an NFL quarterback someday (a dream he can pretty much kiss bye-bye if he signs on to run a gimmick College offense) do you really think he's going to Ann Arbor?

Really? :-?

Ya know, as much time as UM fans like to spend in the Ohio State thread flapping their gums I really do need to come in here more.

Really. }:-)


I guess he should go to OSU for his shot to follow in the steps of dominant NFL players Craig Krenzel, Troy Smith, Justin Zwick, and Joe Germaine then eh?

I can see people arguing that RR can't send a QB to the NFL (even though Shaun King was a 2nd round pick under his tutelage) but he has never really had anyone to work with other than throwaway prospects, so who knows what he can do with talent? Tressel on the other hand has never shown anything as far as churning out top pro prospects, at least Michigan is QB U. Henne, Navarre, Henson, Brady, Griese, Grbac.

Been a long time since we didn't send a starter to the NFL and apart from Navarre and Henson (who would've been the 1st overall pick if he had stuck with football) those other guys are all pretty solid NFL QBs.


I'll have to disagree with you there. We have no idea what Henne will be. Grbac had two good years in the NFL out of 8. Griese has been ok, but has been more of a back-up QB most of his career, and doesn't really have what it takes to be an NFL starter.

And Brady, who is that guy. ;-7
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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby deerayfan072 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:29 am

CC wrote:
Kilroy1872 wrote:Y'all can keep tellin' yourselves whatever you want, but given how much wonderful publicity Rodriguez has been getting of late and the fact that Pryor might actually want to be an NFL quarterback someday (a dream he can pretty much kiss bye-bye if he signs on to run a gimmick College offense) do you really think he's going to Ann Arbor?

Really? :-?

Ya know, as much time as UM fans like to spend in the Ohio State thread flapping their gums I really do need to come in here more.

Really. }:-)


I guess he should go to OSU for his shot to follow in the steps of dominant NFL players Craig Krenzel, Troy Smith, Justin Zwick, and Joe Germaine then eh?

I can see people arguing that RR can't send a QB to the NFL (even though Shaun King was a 2nd round pick under his tutelage) but he has never really had anyone to work with other than throwaway prospects, so who knows what he can do with talent? Tressel on the other hand has never shown anything as far as churning out top pro prospects, at least Michigan is QB U. Henne, Navarre, Henson, Brady, Griese, Grbac.

Been a long time since we didn't send a starter to the NFL and apart from Navarre and Henson (who would've been the 1st overall pick if he had stuck with football) those other guys are all pretty solid NFL QBs.


CC i respect you more than most scouts and agree about OSU, but your argument is flawed here. They may be QB U with those guys, but that was under a different system. No one argued that UM wasn't good at putting QB's in the NFL, they said RR system was not conducive. I think time will tell because as you said he has not had the talented QB that Pryor could be so we will see in the future.
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Re: 2007 Michigan thread

Postby CC » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:31 am

deerayfan072 wrote:
CC wrote:
Kilroy1872 wrote:Y'all can keep tellin' yourselves whatever you want, but given how much wonderful publicity Rodriguez has been getting of late and the fact that Pryor might actually want to be an NFL quarterback someday (a dream he can pretty much kiss bye-bye if he signs on to run a gimmick College offense) do you really think he's going to Ann Arbor?

Really? :-?

Ya know, as much time as UM fans like to spend in the Ohio State thread flapping their gums I really do need to come in here more.

Really. }:-)


I guess he should go to OSU for his shot to follow in the steps of dominant NFL players Craig Krenzel, Troy Smith, Justin Zwick, and Joe Germaine then eh?

I can see people arguing that RR can't send a QB to the NFL (even though Shaun King was a 2nd round pick under his tutelage) but he has never really had anyone to work with other than throwaway prospects, so who knows what he can do with talent? Tressel on the other hand has never shown anything as far as churning out top pro prospects, at least Michigan is QB U. Henne, Navarre, Henson, Brady, Griese, Grbac.

Been a long time since we didn't send a starter to the NFL and apart from Navarre and Henson (who would've been the 1st overall pick if he had stuck with football) those other guys are all pretty solid NFL QBs.


CC i respect you more than most scouts and agree about OSU, but your argument is flawed here. They may be QB U with those guys, but that was under a different system. No one argued that UM wasn't good at putting QB's in the NFL, they said RR system was not conducive. I think time will tell because as you said he has not had the talented QB that Pryor could be so we will see in the future.


I agree that no one knows whether RR can put top prospects in the NFL as QBs, but saying he should come to OSU because they will prepare him for the NFL is a major stretch. The list of OSU QBs who have been anything in the NFL looks like this:

1. ?
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