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Posted on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 6:18 p.m.

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez targeted in another real-estate lawsuit

By Dave Birkett

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez is facing another lawsuit over unpaid real-estate loans.

Rodriguez and four other defendants were sued Feb. 23 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., circuit court for failure to pay nearly $1 million on a condominium development project near Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. The suit, filed by the West Columbia Trading Company, seeks $995,310 plus interest and attorney fees, court documents show. The Tuscaloosa News first reported on the lawsuit on Wednesday.


Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez

Lon Horwedel |

Last year, Rodriguez was sued in federal court in a separate but similar suit for defaulting on a loan to develop condos near Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium. Rodriguez filed a third-party complaint in December to bring his business partners in on that suit that seeks more than $4 million in damages.

A Michigan spokesperson referred all questions to Rodriguez’s attorney, Hamilton Osborne, Jr., who did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Keith Canterbury, the attorney for West Columbia Trading Company, also did not respond to a phone message left at his office.

Ron Davis, an attorney for the Legends of Tuscaloosa, issued a statement Wednesday about the lawsuit.

"Coach Rodriguez, as well as the remaining LLC members, were passive investors in several real estate developments, including the Legends of Tuscaloosa condominium project. ... These projects suffered setbacks due to the fraudulent actions of its orginal promoter and developer, Lamar Greene. ... This lawsuit appears to be one where one victim is trying to recoup losses by suing other victims."

Ron West, an assistant coach at Illinois who Rodriguez worked with at Clemson, and Jeffrey Greene also were named in the lawsuit, as were The Legends of Tuscaloosa, LLC, and Palmetto States Enterprises. Rodriguez countersued both West and Greene in the Virginia Tech lawsuit.

According to court records, Rodriguez is a partner in three limited liability companies, including The Legends of Tuscaloosa and Palmetto States Enterprises, that sought to build upscale condos near college football stadiums.

The Legends of Tuscaloosa, also the name of the Alabama development, and The Spur at Williams-Brice, near South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium, were completed in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The Legends of Blacksburg remains undeveloped.

Rodriguez’s financial advisor Mike Wilcox said previously that Rodriguez was the victim of a Ponzi scheme.

Clegg Lamar Greene, another of Rodriguez’s business partners, was charged last year with five counts of stealing money from investors, including Rodriguez. Greene, Jeffrey Greene’s father, died Oct. 29.

Rodriguez was served a summons and complaint in the Alabama case by certified mail March 1. The suit requests that Rodriguez be made available for deposition at a time and place to be determined.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.


Brian Bundesen

Sat, Mar 27, 2010 : 8:20 a.m.

2 cents: IMO, all these issues surrounding the football program are deeply rooted in three factors: 1) RR was Head Coaching choice #3 2) From the buyout, to NCAA violations, to Real Estate deals, his character has been called into question over and over. Very, very tough for an institution and fan base to swallow who hold themselves to the standard of "leaders & best." 3) They're not winning. A change in #3 moves #1 & 2 to the back burner. Laying blame elsewhere or shooting the messenger does not change those underlying realities. The comments on are my favorite part of the site. Go Blue!


Sat, Mar 27, 2010 : 7:35 a.m.

The real story is that Rodriguez is involved in business dealings with banned football boosters (Greene was banned from Clemson due to actions with recruits). There are lots of people to choose to have business deals with. Why pick partners that don't follow the rules?


Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 9:08 p.m.

'Michigan Football Coach targeted.... ' article here... so if you haven't figured it out yet and wonder why we get so many UM Football bashers, here it is. 1. Our Sports writer in charge of UM Football, an MSU grad whom covered MSU football and basketball for MSU for 4 years writes dirt on RR that goes online. 2. The RR name and article gets picked up online all over the US, and is reprinted - mostly in college towns with the '' at the top. 3. Idiot losers in those towns write into our online UM Football page and trash our Coach/Team. 4. Some of us write rebuttals or try to put them in their place in defense of UM Football, and we get our comments removed. Thats how the comment page works.


Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 8:50 a.m.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck the its a duck. The king is dirty


Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 6:38 a.m.

I kinda like your team. I'm not a hater of UM. I really respect what your team has accomplished over the years. I remember watching UM decades ago on TV, some of my first experiences of football. I follow RR because his name keeps popping up everywhere in a less than brilliant light. This site seems to be the one that lists the most about him. Can't help, though, feeling a little negative towards RR knowing the facts about RR. I've read the contract he had with WVU, and see how he interprets things the way he wants them to be, not how they are. I only speak here to warn you that you may have a coach that is in over his head, and he may start "interpretting" once again. I'll just go back into observing mode and leave you all alone now. Thanks all for being civil to a person you know does not actively support your team, but tries not to bash it either.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:26 p.m.

Scott... my very first post. Rich Rod is not a con artist, he has worked very hard, very hard to not try to forget the past, but dwell on the future... he is what this university needs. Have you ever met this man, apparently Terry Star21, Tater, Theo212, BlueinSC and several others here have. That is why they continue to praise him, I think you have to believe. If you don't like him, shut-up, no one at these stories wants to hear you. Were you by chance in front of the mirror when you typed this, sometimes a mirror can reflect our own image of ourselves. Sorry Terry Star21, can't resist; Mirror - 1.....Scott - 0


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:08 p.m.

lol this guy is a joke and a disgrace to the U of M, i will not support a con artist

Terry Star21

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9 p.m.

Correct voiceofreason... that is the one and only reason UM football bashers hate us, write hate about us... the internet has made it so easy for anyone in the World to type in UM FB and release their frustrations against us... our own Media just keeps pumping out trash stories for them. I'm proud though to say, that is what 131 years of College Football dominance and being America's favorite team has done to us... just make the idiots want to trash us. The King Lives 96... WV losers and others 0.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:55 p.m.

Terry, We will see who has the last laugh between us and the WVU fans. Remember...if they weren't still bitter about it, they wouldn't be making comments here. They know we took two great coaches from them, and they are trying to get shots in while they still can.

Terry Star21

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 5:17 p.m.

Sorry wvtroll, my "All UM fans trully support their team", includes coach(s)... don't know how it is at WV, but at UM Football there is no 'I' in team, only in 'I Love UM Football'. And your comment on RR, UM Football like Jesus will forgive and support, 'Long Live the King'. I Love UM Football 86... Basketball Commenters in this Post 0.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:40 p.m.

Hey WVtroll....I'm from WV and I AM a WVU fan--always have been, always will be. On another note, I saw a sign the other day on the internet from a Michigan State basketball fan that said, "HEY WVU...THANKS!" with pictures of RR & Beilein & their records below. I say, "HEY MICHIGAN STATE, THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONS SAY 'YOU'RE WELCOME'!". Funny how things work out, guess the old saying really applies here, "The grass is always greener....", or maybe, "Be careful what you wish for". GOOD LUCK TO WVU AND TO MICHIGAN STATE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT! My 2 favorite teams!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:02 p.m.

Rich Rod Character Lives On!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

Terry Star21, My point was meant to be: Supporting a coach blindly is not the same as supporting a team. They are two separate entities. Here in WV, most people have the same feeling about WVU as you do about UM. When RR left, they continued to cheer on WVU. Based on the way RR left WV, and all that's went on since he's arrived up there, I'm finding it hard to see how so many can overlook all the baggage he's lugged into your atmosphere with so few good points to praise him for. Time will tell if his selection was a wise one or not. But I would hope proof comes sooner than later for the benefit of the team, either with or without RR.

Terry Star21

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:38 a.m.

wvtroll... thanks for your constructive advice, appreciated.... one thing however, you said all of UM fans should support their team. Hello.... I don't know what it is like in WV, but all of UM fans do support their team! You may see articles saying 'I am true Blue', but then go on to knock the Coach or team, etc. - they are not fans, maybe part time, 'Good Time' supporters. The difference; look for the fan that doesn't have to tell everyone their True Blue, Huge Wolverine, etc., you know the ones that always have something good to say - never bad... these are the fans. like Theo, BlueSC and me and many, many others - too many to mention. Heck wvtroll, I didn't even go to UM, couldn't get accepted... went to the College down the road, very great College - they hate me though, always talking/supporting UM football. I have absolutely no ties to UM or their other sports. Want more, WV.... I became aware of UM football @ 9 years old, 50 years ago... yes I eat, drink, sleep the UM football, no other sport. How does one know.... again you wont have to tell anyone your a fan, True Blue, anything - cause you will know, that is all that will ever count. So yes wvtroll, I can say that ALL UM Football fans 'do fully support their team'.

Terry Star21

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:15 a.m.

Lets see, 30 hours after the 'RR targeted for another lawsuit' article - 33 comments.... 34 hours after the 'Michigan 3-3-5 defense' article - 2 comments. Is it clear why the Media looks for dirt to write articles on the this Great football team and its Staff. 2 Things you can always count on in life; 1. America's top College Football team; records, fans, city - is and will be UM @ #1 2. The dirt bags will spend their life looking and commenting against UM football. UM Fans 128....... Dirt Bag Commenters 0


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:14 a.m.

I'm a WV resident, not a WVU fan. Never been a WVU fan, although I do enjoy watching them. I do hope your team turns things around, and enjoy watching UM games on TV. I must admit that UM was once a team a lot of people used to envy, one of the elite. Therefore, I hope I am speaking without bias when I speak. I am not saddened by RR's departure from WVU - actually couldn't care one way or another. But I do feel I know this man better than most of you up there based on the amount of time I followed him here. A default on a loan is not the same as a venture falling through. One may contribute to the other. All of you UMers should support your team. It doesn't mean you must have blind faith in your coach. You are allowed to love your team, win or lose, but hate your coach (the extreme, mind you, but not necessarily the norm). What the players do on the field may or may not be due to what your coach does with them. Praising your coach when he is not doing his job does nothing but blame the other part of the equation, the players. Sorry if this pops up more than once - the Submit button seems broken (maybe)

John-Maize Blueblood

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:55 a.m.

Many of the folks that have commented here are missing the point of this article. How is RR out of character for investing in a Real Estate deal that has gone sour? I guess those folks that have been victimized by the Madoff ponzi scheme are also out of character? I bet if RR had two winning seasons since he started at Michigan, many of you folks would have been singing a different tune regardless of those real estate legal issues and the NCAA allegations. To me, that's hypocritical and using double-standard to judge a man that not one of you really knows. We all want our beloved football team to win, but please quit using your emotions as goaded by the team's recent losing seasons to denigrate a man who is trying his best to do his job as a Footbal Coach while investing like many of us do in order to prepare a decent future for himself and his family. For all of you WV fans posting on here, just get over it! For better or worse, RR is our coach now and he will be until the AD decides otherwise.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:45 a.m.

I agree that this is a "distraction". Probably all started by your king, himself, to take the focus of attention off of his poor performance as a coach. I hope that this guy isn't going to be someone your players look up to after they graduate. What worldly experience is he giving them? A good coach in any sport at any level should be someone the players can take something positive away with them into their professional career, regardless of whether that career is sports-related or not. I will say this: if any of his players turns out to be a true "star" on offense, he will probably succeed this year. If not, he'll still have the excuse that his talent is all too inexperienced to perform this year, but wait 'til next year. I think true natural talent is what made RR successful at WVU, not RR himself. Just my personal opinion though.

Jed I Knight

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 5:28 a.m.

Here's an idea: Let's support a coach worth supporting.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 5:26 a.m.

I can't believe the RR fan club is blaming the media for this. This story isn't hard enough on RR. For instance, in other media stories they reported that RR entered this deal with a booster who was banned from Clemson for paying players. RR was offensive coordinator there at the time. So what does he do with the unethical booster? Goes into business with him. There is no way to explain that kind of decision away and it's going to be very hard to make RR the victim. Dave Brandon? Please end this bad drama before it gets worse.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:55 a.m.

the King Scumbag continues to live on in infamy.... what a joke that guy is. After he gets fired from UM he will be penniless.


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 9:34 p.m.

Completely irrelevant to Michigan football. If the football team was getting blown out every game last year then I'd have doubts in 2010. The football program has loaded up on even more young talent, last years talent is getting stronger, faster, smarter. Another year with Greg Robinson leading the defense. Offense will be even more wide open with more skill players and less turnovers. Fully renovated Big house with 10,000 + more fans each game. Michigan has the right athletic director in place. Lot's to be down about right folks? The team, the team, the team...the rest is frivolous distractions at best.


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 8:56 p.m.

I would say that it's funny how RR's supporters blame everyone EXCEPT RR for the trouble he constantly finds himself in (including his record)...the only problem is that it's NOT funny.


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 8:54 p.m.

To Detroitrocks..I'm going to "route" for them..Not even close my friend..


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 8:45 p.m.

not only a financial but a coaching trainwreck too


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 8:33 p.m.

I find it utterly amazing just how many Blue fans are in denial of the Head Football Coach situation. Let's just say all this is pure fiction and maybe it will all go away. Come on folks, get you head out of the sand.


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 8:07 p.m.

The guy is a financial train wreck

Terry Star21

Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 7:57 p.m.

Disappointed in Birkett... was just starting to trust him again...don't believe that story; If one writer doesn't cover this story another will... Bull... tomorrows probable headline - NCAA probe into UM Football program makes headlines again... must be a slow day! UM Football Fan 112,000..... Birkett 0


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 7:51 p.m.

Sounds like the S.C. lawsuit and this are closely related. Old news. Whoopee. I'm excited.


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 7:10 p.m.

Every year around football season the critics drum up all the distractions possible. Let the man coach and judge him on that. Leave his personal business out of it. I'm guess it is the Detroit Free Press running their mouths. Trust that if coach's personal dealing affect their coaching David Brandon will not hesitate to make a change. Until then talk about something worth while like Les Miles and LSU!!!


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 6:35 p.m.

As I said before, I didn't particularly gravitate towards this guy when he was here in WV. I'm just glad all this is coming out after he left WV. We got enough problems without more bad press. Wonder if there's any more coaches WVU can send up there? A little OT: One thing I would really like to see stopped here is this constant chatter about how long it takes the players to learn a new scheme. It leaves a bad image of your player's intelligence, and I'm pretty sure most are not stupid. Could this be another "not my fault" gimmick of your coach?


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 6:25 p.m.

Not at all. Most coaches who have ruined a once great sports program usually get some flack. I doubt all South Bend newspapers where super nice to Charlie Tuna.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 5:42 p.m.

For decades, wealthy people have used real estate developments as tax shelters, dependent on the tax advantages and the often-double-digit returns on value. Sadly, this came to an end 3-4 years ago, and these projects are a financial blood-bath. While I do believe Rodriguez is a terrible football coach, I don't blame him for making this mistake - it was a tax loophole made possible by lobbyists and short-sighted politicians long ago. Real-estate law needs to change to adjust to this bubble burst. There are suits like this flying around these days like mosquitoes on a muggy August evening.

Chrysta Cherrie

Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 5:13 p.m.

A comment containing a personal attack was removed.


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 4:42 p.m.

"Here's an idea: Let's support the coach we have!" At this point I imagine it's hard for fans. I understand installing new offense & defense but still, he's made a laughing stock out of that program (True lloyd started it).


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 4:37 p.m.

It's actually the THIRD multimillion dollar lawsuit since he got to UM: Two nebulous real estate deals and the WVU suit. He's a class act all the way around: Success on the field, follows NCAA rules, sets a good off-field example for the student athletes. Not. When is enough enough already?


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 4:31 p.m.

Unless Harbaughh falls from the Moon and lands on his head, he'll not be at Michigan. He's not crazy enough to leave that sweet gig. Here's an idea: Let's support the coach we have!


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 4:28 p.m.

"it looks like Harbaugh will be running the show next year." I might even route for them once or twice then. I love Harbaugh.


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 4:06 p.m.

The head coach of a once-storied football team that he had a major role in destroying becomes embroiled in a second multi-million dollar breach of contact lawsuit - I would say that is newsworthy. The character of a football coach means nothing as long as he wins football games. Unfortunately, RR fails on both accounts. Since Les Miles got himself into a little mess, it looks like Harbaugh will be running the show next year. Even though he was thrown under the bus, I'm sure he will be welcomed back with open arms. Hope he can use a lot of small fast guys.


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 3:52 p.m.

Is this actually newsworthy?


Wed, Mar 24, 2010 : 3:43 p.m.

Funny how they always die.