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Posted on Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 7:41 p.m.

Post-game handshake turns personal for Rich Rodriguez and Purdue coach Danny Hope

By Dave Birkett

This one was personal.

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said Purdue coach Danny Hope used the customary post-game handshake Saturday to chide him for comments earlier in the year that helped get a Purdue player suspended.

Rodriguez said guard Zach Reckman accompanied Hope to the handshake following Purdue’s 38-36 victory. After the two coaches shook hands, Rodriguez said Hope introduced him to Reckman and said, “Thanks, Coach. Really appreciate what you did.”


Purdue coach Danny Hope gives a game official an earful after they allowed a lateral from Michigan running back Carlos Brown to lineman Mark Huyge on a fourth-down play late in the fourth quarter Saturday.

Lon Horwedel |

“I was a little disappointed that after the game their coach seemed to bring the lineman over like I was the reason that his lineman got suspended for that one game,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know where that came from. I talked to him on the phone and told him that wasn’t me that - this is way back when.

“I didn’t have anything to do with that young man getting suspended for that one game.”

After the Big Ten suspended Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton for a game earlier this year for striking a Notre Dame player, Rodriguez said he’d ask the conference to suspend every player who commits a similar "non-football act" during the course of a game.

“As a coach you say, ‘OK, the precedent will be set,’ and that’s why I say we’ll look at every act,” Rodriguez said at the time. “And, in fact, it’s funny you say that, I saw a Big Ten game, in the locker room as we were leaving, highlights, and it was the end of the game and a guy jumped on someone on the last play of the game and did a little of this right here (gave an opponent a forearm). Now is that a non-football act? It probably is, so that may be turned in and see what happens.”

Rodriguez was referring to Purdue’s loss to Northern Illinois, when Reckman struck a Northern Illinois player after Purdue turned the ball over on its desperate final play.

The Big Ten suspended Reckman for one game the following week.

“I usually go over and shake hands and tell you good luck in the next game,” Rodriguez said. “To come over and say something about that, whatever.”

Hope declined to discuss the exchange in a statement released through Purdue’s sports information office.

“As far as I’m concerned our conversation will remain between Coach Rodriguez and me,” the statement said. “We’ll leave it at that.”



Mon, Nov 9, 2009 : 8:32 a.m.

Just Remember, we beat Wayne State handily Friday night....everything else is just background chatter, because as of the Illinois game -. We're A Bsketball School!!!!


Mon, Nov 9, 2009 : 12:03 a.m.

While the current situation is not ideal, I think we should give RR at least 5 more years to develop all of the red shirt seniors. Also to the naysayers, the team is playing hard and is young, and is learning a new system, and is mostly freshman and sophmores, and we run "THE SPREAD"! Admit it, the future is not as bleak as the past. Even if RR gets the aforementioned five years, it wouldn't matter if we lost 7 or 8 games a year, as long as we were still running the spread, and continually recruiting players to fit the "system". If we keep running the spread, AND recruiting the right players to fit the system, then next year will always be better, just ask Cub fan. Give RR a chance to shatter every record in Michigan history, and you will be rewarded for your patience, he promises.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 8:11 p.m.

I'll name some first year coaches: Lane Kiffin - Tennessee; 5-7 last year, currently 5-4. Gene Chizik - Auburn; 5-7 last year, currently 7-3. Steve Sarkisian - Washington; 0-12 last year, 3-6 currently and competitive every week. Obviously, with RR taking over a far less talented team that had only gone 9-4 the year before he arrived should not be expected to improve or even maintain the level of play at Michigan. RR is, after all, only in his second season, whereas the aforementioned coaches are in their first. I'm also sure that the level of talent here was lower than Washington's. I can't wrap my mind around the reason that some Michigan fans don't have higher expectations for RR here at Michigan. They think it's A-okay to fall way off from where we were before he arrived. I think by year two he should be showing WAY MORE. I think tru2blu76 summed up the RR side of the argument perfectly in an earlier post. In referencing yesterday's game he says, "Purdue won the game by a couple of stinking points: Big deal, they HAD to win here eventually." Okay, by that rational, I guess going 0-12 next year won't matter, either. Big deal, right? It had to happen eventually. Great attitude.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 4:22 p.m.

Regardless of what Hope did and said on the field after the game, Rich Rod should have taken the high road and let it go. He was clearly out-coached on Saturday and has failed to correct the problems with his team that led to its third-quarter self-destruction in the two prior games - a weakness that Purdue tested, and then exploited, to their credit.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 3:28 p.m.

Tom, these coaches, with the exception of a couple, developed 2,3 and 4 star recruits to top 10 defense in the nation three years in a row @ WV. Agreed, that was then and this is now. But, there could be other factors involved that we don't know about. I have to believe there is a reason they're not playing.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 3:07 p.m.

Lloyd Carr consistently recruited top ten classes to Michigan, right up through his forced retirement. I'm tired of RichRod and his apologists blaming his incompetence on this mythical "bare cupboard," or not caring about the defense since he's an offense gimmick guy, or the moon being in the house of Jupiter, or the cheerleaders not being as cute as they were in Bo's day. Hundreds of coaches come in every year and improve their teams. RichRod has come in and turned out two of the worst seasons in the storied history of the best football franchise of all-time. Fire him. Every day he's the head coach is one more day before the Wolverines begin their recovery.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 2:44 p.m.

Funkwazzie...."their best"...the walk on safety that was not even recruited to DivII....well they are putting that kid out there and he is not even remotely close to being a Div I starting safety. Ask yourself why they are doing that? Why can they not get any time for 4 star safety recruits Brandon Smith (who they inexplicably moved to LB and he has hence disappeared) or Vlad Emelian.... why could those players not develop under Rich Rods staff enough to take a job from an obviously overmatched walk on? THAT is on coaching. Its total crap and indicative of this staff's inability to a) develop highly ranked players and b) putting the wrong kids out on the field.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 2:09 p.m.

I think that Michigan may be the worst physically conditioned team in the big ten. They are always hands on the hip in the second half and can never seem to get the job done. Time to hit the staires at the Big House boys.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 1:59 p.m.

The entire RR experiment is quickly becoming a massive train wreck. The fool gets completely out-coached for 3 consecutive weeks in the second-half (75-12 combined in the 2nd halves against Purdue, Illinois, Penn State) and all he can grumble about is a little trash talk from the opposing (1st year) coach? I'm still (and always will be) proud to say I'm a Michigan alum and fan... but I'm embarrassed beyond belief to admit that I supported this hire when it happened (and right up until yesterday). He is single-handedly destroying one of the greatest football programs ever, and he has to go away quickly. I don't believe that his "system" will ever be successful in the Big Ten or in BCS level football. It's a tired old trick that defensive coordinators have had years to study and plan for. Two or three more years of his recruits won't make any difference -- it will just prolong the recovery period after someone rights this sinking ship.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 1:15 p.m.

Funk - keep drinking the kool aid brother. The Badgers will crush Michigan. We are now the Northwestern of the Big 10. Wisconsin is too big and physical for the small fast waterbug that RR likes. That crap worked in the Big East, but not here. All of these teams are taking out years of frustration on the Maize n Blue. These kids are in for quite a character building moment this Saturday.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 1:14 p.m.

This is very petty but I hope the next time Michigan has a chance to run up the score on Purdue, they take full advantage of it. What coach Hope did was inexcusable. That was a chump move on his part.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:49 p.m.

It's not about getting feelings hurt. It is about respect and like him or hate him it is NEVER OK for a coach to deliberately send a 20 year old kid out to disrespect a fellow coach! (Let alone stand behind him like a total coward while it's being done!) Look if your kid gets busted by another teacher at school misbehaving and calls you to tell you do you let him go back and tell that teacher off for rating him out? It's the same concept and grossly disrespectful! I imagine all of you dogging on RR for talking about this are the same people who would be all over him if he let Mouton do it to Weiss and calling him classless! Your the people that no matter what RR does he sucks! Get a life. Why would high school prospects want to come here to be cheered on by fans who are intolerant of the change in system and personnel. What coach would want to come to a city where his kids get threats at school because his dad's team isn't winning? Nice environment huh? It's fine to criticize and it should be done but it should be done constructively and not with such anger and hatred! He's not going anywhere for a few years so you might want to find something else to do with your time. If you don't like what you see on Saturday don't go and don't watch. I'm not sure there is much more than you can dig up on the guy other than maybe he chinced on handing out Halloween candy this year? I haven't seen that article yet. Look I thought our D would be further along and It sucks sitting in that stadium watching them get torched and I get mad too but at least the guy isn't out there pretending like it's all gonna be OK tomorrow. From day 1 he told you it was gonna be hard, they were gonna work hard and that eventually it would come together. Somehow some of you CHOSE to hear what you wanted to hear and are mad because it's not here yet. Grow up! Support those kids (and they are all Kids on that field - remember that).

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:40 p.m.

Obviously, RichRod has lost hope. What a clown.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:26 p.m.

Yea, thats right, RR only had 1 full recruiting class and he got beat by a first year coach with 0 recruiting classes. Its not like Perdue is Florida or Texas folks. He also got punked by that coach. What an embarrassment.

Old West Sider

Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 11:02 a.m.

Please tell me when sports, both pro and college, will get back to being fun. Thank God for public & private elementary and high school sports


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 10:58 a.m.

Marine. I totally agree. I've been preaching that all year. Like I've said before, when do you see Ohio St., Florida, USC, Penn St., start walk-ons? They're out there trying their best, but their best isn't even enough to be RECRUITED by a division II school. The Offense will be fine, although sometimes I think they could do a little more schematically to help the youth out, like putting guys in motion to get the D to think a little bit. Did anyone notice the long pass play to Roy in the second quarter when the backs flip-flopped positions right before the snap? That was enough to get the saftey to think run and he came up an extra 5 or so yards. It left the middle of the field WIDE open. That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about, but we didn't see it the rest of the game. On the other hand the D has no hope. When they've been less agressive they've got eaten alive in the run game. When they've been more agressive teams pass all over them. It did seem though, in the first half, when fitzgerald, leach and Campbell were in there, there was some extra energy and things were going well holding purdue to 10 points. Then the second half comes along, the other guys go back in and they gave up 21 unanswered! Another 90 plus yard drive. How demoralizing. It's a shame how RR is not even given 3 years by some of you. If it sucks for us as fans and alum, just think of the impact it has on the players and coaches. It's got to be 100 fold. So what happens if coach is given the boot? Then what? Any ideas? In comes a different coach with different ideas that is still working with below average defensive talent and WALK ONS and things will suddenly get better?! I'm going to keep drinking the Kool-Aid for as long as this thing goes on and believe that as long as our offense doesn't turn the ball over we have a chance to win every game. So everyone needs to start BELIEVING that we have a chance to beat Wisconsin. I mean, come on, they're not THAT good. There are only two advantages they have: Camp Randall and Defense. Granted, two BIG advantages, but if I remember correctly the games are decided by who scores the MOST points. If the game ends in a 0-0 tie they don't decide the winner by most yards, they go to overtime until someone SCORES. So, in my opinion, we all need to stay positive and support these kids with a chance of winning. Not by pounding into their skulls all week that they have NO chance. Even if you don't like the coaches, I'll admit I have problems with some of their decisions sometimes, stay positive for the kids. They say what you put out will return to you. Look what has happened the last two years from constantly not believing and being negative about the teams chances. Look what happened to the damn buckeyes. All the sudden things get a little down, they start talking trash about their qb and offense and they go out and lay-down against purdue. (which made me smile!) This week all I heard on the radio (I live in Ohio) was that they were going to win against PSU and believe in their offense and yada yada. Look what happened. So on that note I believe they will beat wisky! And with LOTS of help from the football gods I still think we have a shot against Ohio St. No matter how bad you think it is we should all try this week in putting positive energy out in the public about this weeks game. Let's try it and see what happens. GO motherFn' BLUE!!


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 9:59 a.m.

I said last week beating Purdue was an absolute MUST win, no excuses. Multiple choice question: Michigan is turning into A: Nebraska B: Colorado C: Florida State D: None of the above all those programs are better now.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 8:11 a.m.

It is all about wins and loses. Nothing else is relevant.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 6:57 a.m.

it is obvious they have nothing because all they do is COMPLAIN. i don't see ANY of them ever suggesting what they would do differently about the defense. RR and staff are working their butts off trying to figure it out. it should be obvious to anyone that the talent and depth aren't there. someone please tell me when has Michigan ever started a walk on? especially 2 walk ons. that should tell you something about the previous recruiting efforts...... RR has recruited 1 class. he is playing as many of those players that are ready. the rest of the defense he inherited......


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 1:49 a.m.

PLEASE KEEP RR. The soap opera gets better by the day. GO BUCKS


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:19 a.m.

Danny Hope is a punk. I just saw what he did on Sportscenter. He goes over and shakes RichRod's hand then goes and hides behind Reckman yackin at RichRod over Reckman's shoulder and blaming RichRod for getting him suspended??? Is this Hope guy serious?? You guys are talking about RichRod being a crybaby...Hope is a crybaby. His player does something unsportsmanlike and then he goes and blames a coach who had NOTHING to do with it. Wow. I hate Purdue so much more now. Go Blue.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:08 a.m.

Everyone that has posted here are idiots!! Go Cheer for another team!


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:53 p.m.

Rich Rod lost his composure completely. What a crybaby.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:36 p.m.

Dwight, I agree that Hope is classless...but I don't care. He's not a part of Michigan. If we had won the game, Hope wouldn't have done it. Win, don't whine.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:09 p.m.

Maybe dick rod needs to watch film of his own games and not bother with others. One would think if watched others he would get embarrassed by his teams play and try and coach them up. Apparently not!!! No need to improve just ask for time there are still records to break and streaks to smash!!


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 10:51 p.m.

If Michigan had won the game and RR told the media about this incident, every one of you would be grilling Purdue for its classlessness right now. Damn hypocrites.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 10:33 p.m.

So Rich Rodriguez, on the heels of another poor performance, is worried about DannyHope talking smack to him? All Rich Rodriguez had to do was win the game and Danny Hope wouldn't have had an opportunity to talk smack. Rich Rodriguez needs to focus on earning his money as coach of Michigan. He keeps asking for patience but when will enough be enough? I was not a big fan of Lloyd Carr as coach but he continued the winning tradition at Michigan and despite Rich Rodriguez's claims to the contray the cupboard was not bare, In fact, had teh right coach been hired Michigan would never had to endure "the process" that has seen Michigan football almost completely dismantled. Almost 40 years of consistently being among the nations best destroyed by Rich Rodriguez's "process" in under two years. Great hire Bill Martin! NOT! Take Rich Rodriguez with you when you retire, PLEASE!


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 9:50 p.m.

No matter how you feel about Rich, that was a classless act. But considering Joe Tiller was his mentor it explains everything


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 9:43 p.m.

Ooh so i guess Rodriguez is now A: Not blind, and can actually see Moutons punch. B: A fricken tattle Tail. This is actually an Interesting defensive scheme, i guess its all fair game when you're 1-5 (en route to 1-7) in Big Ten play.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 8:18 p.m.

I don't care what Danny Hope said or how RR felt about it. Just win games.