OPINION: It's all about wins and losses for Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez
Rich Rodriguez received what he’s always wanted Tuesday. For the first time since allegations of NCAA impropriety showed up in August, Rodriguez’s status as Michigan’s football coach isn’t tied to anything off the field. It’s about whether or not his team wins.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
That Michigan stuck by Rodriguez is unsurprising. The large Michigan fan base may be divided on Rodriguez, but the university brass is not, at least publicly. Michigan supported Rodriguez in February when Michigan announced the notice of allegations. It also did when the story first broke in August. And it has backed him with consistency since former athletic director Bill Martin and Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman selected Rodriguez to replace Lloyd Carr in 2007. After all, Michigan paid $2.5 million of Rodriguez’s buyout from West Virginia.
Michigan’s leaders stuck by Rodriguez even though Michigan is 8-16 in two seasons. The Wolverines have won three Big Ten games in that span, have yet to reach a bowl game and have had their most unsuccessful two-year stretch since before Bo Schembechler took over the program. The offense has been inconsistent. The defense has been worse. Michigan’s special teams looked horrific in April’s spring game. Throughout it all, Coleman, Martin and now Brandon remained confident in Rodriguez. It has led to this moment. When Michigan released its report Tuesday it served as a turning point in Rodriguez’s career in Ann Arbor. From here, he can succeed or fail on his terms. On the field.