The deposition of Rich Rodriguez's agent, Mike Brown, was released on Friday, May 30th and while there was a lot to comprehend (~500 pages), the most important statement from my perspective is that Rich Rodriguez was advised by his agent to not sign the contract offered in August of 2007. In another article of mine, I suggested that the concern Rodriguez expressed after-the-fact was due to the complications involved with having a relatively "all risk, no gain" position by signing the contract and that appears to be exactly the concern of his advisement staff.
Other articles have been written about other aspects of the deposition ...
- the questionable link of his agent to gambling (and the conspiracy theory with the Pitt game),
- the shopping of Rodriguez's services from 2005 through 2007, or
- the questionable time line provided of when the surrounding events of speaking with Michigan officials, when his team believed that WVU breached their contract and other details.
However, the most damaging evidence seems to be that Rodriguez signed his contract against the advice of his team, given that Rodriguez is now crying foul to a judge and public opinion because of the buyout.
Just to repeat this ... Rodriguez was told not to sign the deal by his personal advisers with one of the main points of contention being a $4 million buyout, he signed against their advice, and now describes his position at WVU as being "held hostage" because of the exact same reason, the buyout.
The irony is that it was not long ago that Rodriguez was pointing to the buyout as a definitive sign that he was committed to West Virginia University.
There are other gems in the document that may be discussed later, but the bottom line is ... if Rodriguez was told not to sign the deal by his own personal advisers with the buyout being a major point of contention and he signed anyway, that act alone would supersede any contention of future promises, verbal agreements or assumptions made on his part in signing the document.
It is no different than when I tell my daughter not to touch a hot stove-top. If she does, and she gets hurt, it's not my fault or the stove's fault. It's her own ... and she pays the price (and hopefully learns not to do this in the future).
In addition to the University of Michigan and their reputation, especially their football program reputation, and for Mike Brown, Marv Robon and the other members of Rodriguez's team, it will be interesting to see how many people are brought down as this fight continues. I am sure that Mr. Brown cannot be happy with the release of his deposition, Robon is now crying to the press that WVU needs an "open mind" when it comes to mediation, and UM officials have probably heard enough of this ridiculous smoke and mirror campaign that Rodriguez has now brought all of the into ... basically on his own. Or, maybe not?
Interestingly, Rodriguez stated in his deposition that he signed the contract under pressure from WVU officials, but his own advisory committee instructed him not to sign and he went against their advice, and he also informed the governor that the contract situation was "under control." In effect, he is stating that he went against his own advisors, informed his friend that everything was fine and now argues that he was pressured to sign. To date, there are simply no grounds on which to fight the buyout.