Yesterday, Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez and his legal team agreed to pay the $4 million buy-out clause that was instituted into the coach's last deal with ex-employer West Virginia.
Rodriguez had originally disputed the clause, feeling he was pressured into signing a new deal with the university. He also felt that the school did not hold up to verbal promises made to him when the deal was finished.
So what does this mean for both parties?
Well, for West Virginia, it's pretty simple. They go the $4 million that they were owed per terms of the contract.
For Rodriguez and the Wolverines, what it means and what people think it means are taking on two different lives.
Those anti-Rodriguez pundits out there feel that this goes to show that Rodriguez got what he deserved and that he not only initiated the continuation of the lawsuit, but fought West Virginia tooth and nail until Michigan's President, Mary Sue Coleman, pulled the plug before she was set to testify.
While we may never know the absolute truth, one should look at this from a reasonable point of view. Let's look at a few things:
Rodriguez stipulated in his deal with Michigan that the school would cover at least the bulk of his buy-out. Now, this may be just me, but it appears as if Coach Rod was ready to settle this from the get-go by getting Michigan to agree to take on most of the fiscal responsibility in the case.
Rodriguez's legal fees were paid for by the University of Michigan. That should tell you that if Rod were fighting this crusade at the behest of Coleman and AD Bill Martin, it would be assumed that he would be footing the legal bills.
Those with common sense can probably decipher the truth, or at least the closest possible thing to the truth: Michigan agreed to foot most of the bill but wanted to keep the trial going in hopes of whittling down the $4 million fee. Obviously, once Coleman was called upon to testify, Michigan backed out knowing it would lose.
The end result? Michigan pays $2.5 million and Rodriguez's legal fees. Coach Rod will pay $1.5 million spread over time starting in 2010.
This proved nothing. And this accomplished nothing other than getting West Virginia the money they were legally owed.
Not that any of what I just said matters, as Rodriguez haters will undoubtedly chalk this up as Coach Rod getting what was coming to him.
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