Rich Rodriguez To Pay 4 Million Dollar Buyout Finally

michelle wvsportslinkContributor IJuly 9, 2008
Metronews has learned that a tentative settlement has been reached in WVU’s law suit against former coach Rich Rodriguez that calls for Rodriguez or someone on his behalf to pay the entire $4 million dollars in damages.

WVU Attorney Tom Flaherty tells Metronews, “We’ve got a tentative settlement.

The deal was reached just before midnight last night and, if approved by the WVU Board of Governors, will end the caustic legal fight between WVU and its former coach.

Rodriguez left WVU last December for the head coaching job at Michigan, but fought the provision in his contract that called for him to pay $4 million in damages.

Rodriguez claimed he had been defrauded by the University, essentially tricked into signing his new contract last August, but WVU argued that Rodriguez understood what he was signing.

A break in the case came two nights ago with a face to face meeting between representatives of WVU and Rodriguez along with a mediator. Talks continued yesterday and the two sides reached an agreement just before midnight last night.

“We just kept moving on multiple fronts,” said Flaherty.

Flaherty says he’ll release more details of the settlement after he gives details to the WVU Board of Governors will still must approve the deal, but he said the agreement sets up a timetable for payment.

The deal also specifies how much Rodriguez will pay and how much will be paid by others on behalf of Rodriguez.

One key that triggered a settlement appeared to be the pressure brought by WVU to depose Michigan President Sue Coleman and Athletic Director Bill Martin. There was a hearing scheduled in Michigan this afternoon on WVU’s attempts to force the two to testify under oath what they knew about the hiring of Rodriguez and the buyout clause in the contract with WVU.

WVU was trying to show that Rodriguez must have understood the buyout provision because he negotiated with Michigan to help with the payment.

Another key development was Michigan’s release of documents that reportedly showed Michigan agreed to help pay the buyout.