I find it humorous that Rich Rodriguez is all of a sudden a horrible coach in the eyes of West Virginia fans. I should first preface this with the statement that I do not follow West Virginia football, and never have. However, it’s very clear to the casual observer that Rodriguez was a good coach.
While in Morgantown, he received little to no complaints. He took the team from relative anonymity to a perennial powerhouse. He stocked his roster with great athletes that entered into the Heisman discussion year after year. There were no scandals or off-the-field distractions.
Enter Michigan, and their offer to Rodriguez (and his subsequent acceptance) to coach their team. All of a sudden, Rodriguez was “outcoached” in the loss to Pitt (which is what a caller said on 680 The Fan this morning). Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am quite curious about what the hell happened to Steve Slaton, as The Big Lead discussed yesterday. One would have to assume that Rich Rodriguez had something to do with that, specifically in the Pittsburgh game (and even more specifically, after Pat White was injured–seriously…only 9 carries for Slaton????).
But the fact remains that Rodriguez led them to perennial “national title contender” status and seemed to do so with a clean program. I don’t know what the details are surrounding the buyout controversy, but it seems to me that if both sides do not fulfill the terms of the contract, then the manner of dissolving that contract is left to interpretation. It would seem that a renegotiated buyout is in order–perhaps half the original amount–considering, reportedly, that West Virginia did not meet the terms of the contract as it was originally stated.
But again, I am not a close follower of West Virginia football, or this situation in particular. Still, I can form the opinion that hate him or love him, Rich Rodriguez did some great things for WVU football. He may have left under less than ideal conditions, but at least he left the program in good shape. It’s time to move on!