You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 8:51 a.m.

West Virginia wants out of its deal with the Big East and that amuses Rich Rodriguez

By Staff

West Virginia doesn't want to wait 27 months to leave the Big East Conference for the Big 12. So the university filed suit Monday against the Big East.

Former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez, now an analyst for CBS Sports, found that amusing when the subject came up on "Inside College Football." Rodriguez, of course, paid a portion of the $4 million buyout of his West Virginia contract when he left the Mountaineers to go to Michigan. He fought the buyout, but lost.

"I seem to remember about 3 and half years ago, I think there was a coach that wanted out of a contract and the situation had changed, and they said, 'A contract is a contract!" Rodriguez said.

"Oh, it's changed! Oh, OK. Now I understand. The 'landscape' has changed."

See the full clip from CBS Sports below:



Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

Big-time college sports universities, like any big business, will always do what's in their best interest, even if that means being hypocritical about breaking contracts. But in West Virginia's case, I think they have a good point. The Big East is falling apart and in jeopardy of losing its automatic BCS-bid. Adding teams like SMU and Houston do little to help its case. The Big East is looking out for its best interest rather than what is best for West Virginia's. I'm not saying they're right, but I think it's a worthy argument to make. I have a love/hate relationship with college football. I love the game and its tradition, but cannot stand the ever-increasing avarice of the universitys'. I feel Michigan is doing well, walking a fine line in that world, doing its best to maintain its integrity, but it lives in that world nevertheless. I'm thankful the Big Ten is stable so Michigan and the rest have little dealings with breaking agreements and the like. A couple links to a recent article about the greed of college athletics as well as a book about the University of Chicago and its once-legendary football program, and how the university extinguished the program for many years to avoid many of the problems we're seeing today. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> (From the Atlantic link) &quot;Why," asked Bryce Jordan, the president emeritus of Penn State, "should a university be an advertising medium for your industry?" Vaccaro did not blink. "They shouldn't, sir," he replied. "You sold your souls, and you're going to continue selling them. You can be very moral and righteous in asking me that question, sir," Vaccaro added with irrepressible good cheer, "but there's not one of you in this room that's going to turn down any of our money. You're going to take it. I can only offer it."


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

@RudeJude: &quot;I think college football will clean up its image, or I mean to say, find clever ways to make it seem less about business and more about academics and athletics.&quot; I wish I could agree, but I'm afraid I don't ... I think we're in an inexorable slide down hill. Eventually the BCS setup will collapse under its own weight and we'll see first a four-team playoff, then eight-team, and then probably 16-team. That will imply more money to be had, and more pressure to secure the best talent to win that money. And as colleges pursuing more and more money ... two things: (a) Title IX has something to do with this. Read up on the way it has been interpreted to mean PARTICIPATION proportional to the population, not merely opportunity. Then think about revenue sports (all male), then think about how much it costs to maintain proportional female participation in an age when student populations are trending more and more female. And (2), college tuition and fee costs have outpaced inflation for a decade or more. What can't go on forever won't. We will see a bursting of this &quot;higher education bubble&quot; in the next 5 or 10 years. Then all manner of cost pressures will fall upon universities. My two cents.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

And to amplify RudeJude: The more the &quot;big time schools&quot; schedule home games against inferior opponents (who sometimes win anyway), the more proof you have that it is not about integrity of the game, the struggle to succeed, the worthiness of competition. What you get is, &quot;well, it's the money stupid&quot;. and no, I don't think Michigan is doing a good job of walking the line, as they continue to shy away from home and homes, pulling out legacy uniforms that they can then sell, etc. At least they don't advertise in the stadium, but look at all the other schools. It is all about money, and it's not good for sport (but I am not too naive, only idealistic)


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

In regards to the Stagg book, I wanted to hate the administration for killing the program, but I agreed with their reasoning (although not their tactic by killing the football program over Christmas break, while the students were away.) I think college football will clean up its image, or I mean to say, find clever ways to make it seem less about business and more about academics and athletics. But with every Cam Newtown and Terrelle Pryor that come around, and with every rivalry that dies due to inter-conference confliction due to money, the harder it becomes to ignore the fact that college football is just a popular minor league with a facade of prestige and tradition that is cracking ever so quickly away.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

I didn't watch the clip but it is easy to see why the situational morality of WVU is ironic if not amusing. And thanks for bringing this up, it's relevant and not dwelling on the past.

Lorain Steelmen

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

I didn't bother to look at the video, (don't particularly care), but I DO think RR has a point. WVU was all over him, three years ago. Hey, maybe a couple of million is chump change, to some of the posters on here, but it'd keep me in beer, all weekend! The detroit press used that to help create an adverse climate for RR here. (In particular, the Freep, which is a pro msu rag). Now WVU wants to break their contract with the Big East, and of course, they don't see the hipocracy in that. I say RR is entitled to a laugh, at WVU's expense. Someone else mentioned Carr and Moeller. I am old enough to remember when Mo came back to UM from Illiinois. Let's just say he wasn't overly pleased with UI. So Rodriguez, isn't the first Mighigan man, to have a problem with another university. Just sayin'!


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

heartbreakM: RR's buyout contract w/ WV was fought because UofM was going to fund the buyout on the back end--just like what UofM would have done if Beilein's buyout contract was enforced. You should blame UofM more than RR. And, no--I'm not RR's biggest fan either. But if you still want to bash RR, you should also bash Beilein, who fought (and won) to get out of paying his buyout to WV.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

@heartbreak- Beilein had 5 years on his contract, and bailed on it. Doesn't bother me, but then again I apply the same judgement to everyone.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

I don't know enough details of the deal as I was a spectator like most of us, but if Michigan was going to do the buyout as you claim, why not get that in writing up front? Former coach's contract wasn't even finalized until MSU week his first year (which to me could not have helped his focus that week). Also, was Beilein breaking a newly signed contract only months after claiming to be a WVU man? Similarities, yes, but significant differences. And we all know that at Michigan, nothing is quite as big as football.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

Who really cares? Not me. story...


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

I think this video clip is an example of why he didn't fit in with UM. His comments here strike me as self-righteous and slightly arrogant rather than introspective and humble. He comes across to me as that same coach who blames everybody else for his troubles but refuses to look in the mirror. In 2007-08, he BROKE a contract that he had just signed months earlier, and rather than paying his way out of the contract as stipulated, he decided to go to court, thus embarrassing his former university, his current university (at that time), all over a very simple legal concept. Why WVU finds the need to go to court over Big East contract now is not clear to me, but former coach's attitude toward this and bringing himself into it is just not becoming of a coach I'd want (and I understand he was sorta joking on this clip, but still).


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Self-righteous and arrogant? Lloyd Carr would approve.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

I sort of opened myself up here, huh!! But to play along: Please tell me any Michigan coach who is self-righteous and arrogant? ( Not talking about us superior alumni!! LOL)


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 4:11 p.m.

HaHAHa..............too funny. You are joking, right? Self-righteous and arrogant, he doesn't fit in at UM? If anything, that gives him a lifetime membership in the alumni association.

David Vande Bunte

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

I am not really RichRod's biggest fan...but he definitely has a point. I can totally see why the situation would be amusing to him.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Why not weekly stories about Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr? Maybe alternate weeks and throw in an old Bo article every now and again. They would have as much relevance to the current University of Michigan football program as this article.