I just got through reading an article Ivan Maisel from ESPN wrote, and I want to clear up a few things about Rich Rodriguez taking the job at Michigan.
Maisel writes: "Rodriguez's decision to leave is justifiable because there's a difference between saying, 'I will never leave,' and 'I will not be the next coach at _____."
Yes, there is a difference—but that doesn't make it justifiable.
Rodriguez is a liar, and that's all there is to it. He said he would never leave WVU, and he did.
Earlier this year, his freshman tailback, Noel Divine missed practice because of a birth in his family. Coach Rod understood, but still sat him a game because that was the team rule—and we must abide by the rules.
Well the rules of society say that if you tell a lie, you are a liar. Rodriguez looked at the Old Gold and Blue Nation and lied.
Rod told a lie that big, wrong, and unable to be justified.
Maisel also writes: "We are all engorged with the parity college football served up every week this fall. But no matter how many Missouri's and West Virginia's threaten to stage a coup d'etat in this sport, there will always be royalty. Think of the schools whose tradition is immediately recognizable across the nation: USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, et al."
That might be true for those of you who blabber from your ivory towers—but for the rest of us, royalty is in the eye of the beholder.
For the the boy who was born a stone's throw from the stadium where the Mountaineers call home, WVU was Rodriguez's kingdom, and he rose to be it's ruler.
Michigan will always be the Big House where Bo reigned. I have never been to Ann Arbor, but I would guess there are monuments and streets and the like dedicated to the late Bo Schembechler. The legend of the great coach will always overshadow anything Rodriguez does at Michigan.
Rich Rodriguez was well on his way to that kind of status in Morgantown. A hometown boy, Rod would have been rewarded. Just like last year, when Rodriguez threw what amounted to a tantrum, and the Governor called the boosters to make sure he received the pacifiers he craved.
West Virginia was growing to love their Mountaineer leader. I hope Coach Rod remembers that every time he drives down Schembechler Boulevard.
Money and fame is fleeting and temporary; legends live forever.
Maisel also included this nugget of idiocy: "Don Nehlen, who turned West Virginia into a regional power in his 21 seasons (1980-2000), came to the school from Bo Schembechler's staff at Michigan. He made the Mountaineers uniforms look like an Allegheny version of the Wolverines."
Mr. Maisel, I know you were educated at Stanford, so you can't possibly be that stupid.
West Virginia University adopted their colors, Old Gold and Blue, in 1890. They were taken from the state seal of West Virginia, which was designed in 1863.
The University of Michigan did not choose their present shades of Blue and Gold until 1912. I know from reading Nehlen's remarks about Rodriguez going to Michigan that he is old and senile—but he still isn't old enough to take credit for the design of the state seal of West Virginia.
Finally, Maisel pens: "Rodriguez will be a worthy successor to Fielding Yost, Fritz Crisler, Schembechler, and Carr."
I am not familiar with the exploits of Yost and Crisler, but Carr was in my lifetime, and he always seemed befuddled but classy.
Two words I wouldn't use to describe Rodriguez.
As far as worthy enough to succeed Bo? I agree completely!
You see, Schembechler, like Rodiguez, was also a traitor to his state.
The great coach was born and educated in Ohio. Thus it appears that all that matters to the University of Michigan is winning—because they have proven loyalty can be bought.
That may be the norm for athletics in this modern era, but it is a terrible motto for a school.
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