Rich Rodriguez: The Coach Who Cried Wolf

kevin wallContributor IFebruary 11, 2008

Once again Rich Rodriguez runs to the media to ease his tortured soul. 

In an interview conducted on ESPN, newly hired Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez pleaded for WVU fans to "stop making death threats to his family." 

While no one with any sense would condone such behavior, it is worth noting every time coach Rodriguez gets some bad press he cries "wolf" about something WVU may have done. 

As previously reported about these death threats, it appears no official police report has been filed. ESPN, in order to get the jump on the story as usual, fails to verify the facts or to even ask the coach about any official reports. 

During the interview coach Rodriguez talks about how his children along with his nephew continue to be harassed by classmates who, according to Rodriguez, tape death threats on the kids' lockers. 

While no one has actually seen these messages, media talking heads automatically assume this occurred. 

At one point of the interview as he is mentioning his children coach Rod pauses and chokes back the forthcoming tear(s).  This was a nice effect for the viewers tuning in for the "show."

Prior to this interview, coach Rodriguez was publicly called out by Purdue football coach Joe Tiller as being a "wizard and snake oil salesman."  This was in response to Rodriguez "poaching" one of Tillers prized recruits, who had committed to Purdue prior to Rodriguez's arrival at UM. 

Instead of addressing this issue, Rodriguez runs to the media about the death threats.

After WVU filed the lawsuit to recover the buyout clause of $4 million owed by Rodriguez to the school for taking the UM job as agreed upon in the contract signed in September, Rodriguez responded by accusing the WVU administration of not living up to a "verbal agreement"  he made after signing the contract. 

WVU then paid Rodriguez the $287,000 owed as a bonus for Rodriguez's services for the 2007 football season.  Rodriguez offered to pay $1.5 million, when the school made it known they would not settle for anything less than the $4 million owed. 

Rodriguez once again ran to the media and complained he never wanted to take another job, but the WVU administration had forced him to leave.  This contrary to previous interviews where coach Rodriguez, when asked why he accepted the Michigan job, responded by stating "because it's Michigan."

So which is it, Coach?

When it was reported Rodriguez had returned to his WVU office and shredded "personal files" instead of just taking them with him.  Suddenly news came out WVU had told Calvin McGee (who is African-American) he would never get the head coach's position because of his color, once again no official report or grievance was filed regarding this action.  

This tit-for-tat game between Rich Rodriguez and the WVU administration, while not uncommon in legal issues, has become tedious and redundant.  While the media fails to recognize Rodriguez's continuous efforts to improve his image by using hearsay over facts it will be the courts with the final word.  

Coach Rodriguez, I wish you the best and hope the fans of Michigan are as forgiving if things start to go south in your first few years as WVU fans were. 

So be the best "Michigan Man" you can be. 

Hopefully the two schools will eventually meet on the gridiron and settle it once and for all. 

Enjoy all the media attention you are getting now, because one of these days no one will be there when the real "wolf" shows up.