No news emerges from Rich Rodriguez's talk with Dave Brandon at Michigan today
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez had a long meeting with athletic director Dave Brandon on Tuesday, but there was no announcement regarding Rodriguez's future at the university.
As of 3 p.m., multiple sources with direct knowledge of the talks said Rodriguez had not been fired, but they expected that would still be the outcome of the talks.
A meeting with players originally scheduled for this evening at 7 p.m. had been postponed until Wednesday at 4 p.m., according to multiple sources.
“I don’t know anything,” Rita Rodriguez, Rich’s wife, said when walking into Schembechler Hall this afternoon.
Shortly after 5 p.m., defensive coordinator Greg Robinson left Schembechler Hall and when asked if he'd heard anything, he responded, "I have not." Offensive coordinator Calvin Magee declined comment as he left the building.
Michigan spokesman Dave Ablauf released a statement late in the day that said, "Everything is media speculation at this point. The definitive voice on this matter is Dave Brandon. He has not and will not speak publicly until a final decision has been made."
Rodriguez’s future with the team has been in limbo for nearly six weeks. Since a loss to Ohio State, Brandon repeatedly said he would not deliver a decision on Rodriguez until after the Gator Bowl.
On Saturday, Mississippi State beat Michigan in a 52-14 drubbing. It was Michigan’s first bowl appearance in Rodriguez’s three-year tenure in which the Wolverines are 15-22 and 6-18 in the Big Ten Conference.
Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh was initially the overwhelming favorite to replace Rodriguez, but sources said that no substantive talks between Brandon and Harbaugh had taken place.
By Tuesday night, Harbaugh's brother, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, said on a radio show, "I don't know what he's going to do. I think the Michigan thing is done now. I don't think he's going to have anything to do with that."
San Diego State coach Brady Hoke, who has ties to the Michigan program, also has been rumored to be a candidate if Rodriguez is fired. San Diego State president Stephen Weber addressed rumors of Hoke going to Michigan on Monday in The San Diego Union-Tribune.
"It's Michigan's move next and we'll see where it goes," Weber said. "There's not question that Brady is worth keeping. The very reason we want to keep him is the reason why Michigan wants to have him. But first, Michigan has to sort itself out."
Rodriguez's contract includes a buyout clause calling for him to be paid $2.5 million if he is fired in the fourth year of his contract.
That sum matches the amount U-M paid to West Virginia University to buy Rodriguez out of his contract to bring him here in December 2007. Rodriguez paid $1.5 million himself to cover the full $4 million buyout.
Rodriguez has been under contract with U-M since October 2008, which is 10 months after he was hired. He signed a six-year contract that paid him a total of $2.5 million per year, including $300,000 in base salary, $1.65 million in additional income and $550,000 in deferred compensation.
Jeff Arnold, David Jesse and Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.