Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Round of Reubens

First the good news. The coaching search seems to be almost over with reports that Jeff Mullen of Wake Forest has agreed to become the next Offensive Coordinator at WVU. Mullen has been at Wake for the last 7 years with the last five as coach of the quarterbacks. Mullen has no ties to WVU which makes him a minority hire for this staff.

Speaking of minorities you probably haven't heard this one. It's been reported by the Dominion Post (subscription needed) that a black man was denied service at a Clarksburg Eagles club and told to leave because they don't allow black people at the Clarksburg Eagles. That is a pretty crazy story in this day and age but the quote from Bob Powell, secretary of the Clarksburg Eagles is great.

It's never been -- I have no -- nothing wrong with that. We usually, if we let one in, we usually ask him to leave because it is a policy of the club, but we never had no problem with them.
That may be one of the most incoherent racial slurrings of all time.

Which of course brings us to the, as EDSBS called it, nuclear option of race. Mike Brown, the agent of both Calvin Magee and Rich Rodriguez, claiming that Calvin Magee was never seriously thought of as a coaching candidate because he is black. And the story was dropped on MLK day. Chuck Finder has had a line in with Ken Kendrick before so he is getting all the dirt from the Rodriguez camp and broke this story.
According to Brown, who declined to identify the person involved in this incident, "Calvin was in discussions with this West Virginia University administrator, and Calvin kind of politely asked him, 'Do you think I have a shot [at becoming the next Mountaineers head coach]?' The administrator said, 'No you don't,' and pointed to his skin. That's why Calvin got on the plane."
But then the story takes a different spin.
Magee said he told interim coach Bill Stewart his reasons for attending -- for one thing, "to explore my options." He returned the next day to Morgantown, but he quickly grasped that damage was done.

"I immediately felt like I should have stayed away" from Ann Arbor, said Magee. Mountaineers officials "were kind enough to let me coach the bowl game. But I had not officially resigned from West Virginia University. I was coming back to work."
So the story is conflicted in that according to Brown, Magee got on the plane because of racial intolerance, but according to Magee, Magee didn't get interviewed because he got on the plane. WVU and Magee differ when it comes to the actual "interview." According to Magee it was short and only to appease the Black Coaches and Administrators with Magee being told that he had no real chance. According to AD Ed Pastilong the conversation centered on Magee being a "Michigan Man" and therefore not a candidate at WVU.

So RR sends a volley though Finder, how does WVU respond? Through "Shreddergate" author Dave Hickman who claims that he was at the Puskar Center the day Rodriguez resigned and no administrators were there so therefore no one high up could have pointed the finger at Magee.
Apparently this happened very quickly because this is what happened that afternoon. I know. I was there.

Rodriguez walked into a team meeting shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16. Ten minutes later he walked out, as did the players, who had just been told he was their former coach. The players scattered, most of them to the locker room to prepare for the 3 p.m. practice that was to go on as scheduled. Most of the assistant coaches huddled briefly and then went about their business.

The only administrator I recall seeing at the time — or for the rest of the afternoon, for that matter — was communications director Mike Fragale. Mike Montoro, who is in charge of football communications and works under Fragale, showed up later.


The majority of the team was on the field for the 3 p.m. practice within 45 minutes of the end of the meeting with Rodriguez. The short practice ended at about 4:15 p.m. Almost immediately Magee was out of the building and on his way to Michigan for Rodriguez’s introductory press conference there the next morning.
Could Magee have squeezed in a career-defining conversation during all of that? Perhaps. But with whom? If the “administrator's” answer was what Brown claims, Magee certainly didn’t ask Fragale or Montoro, two people trained in public relations and certain not to make that sort of gaffe. Athletic director Ed Pastilong eventually arrived at the building, but even if Magee was still there, Pastilong certainly didn’t make the remark.
All of this fun while Rodriguez goes to the press and claims WVU is mud-slinging and he just wants to move on. And it isn't over yet. Mike Brown has claimed that there will be a bombshell in the response to be filed this week. Legally the only "bombshell" could be something WVU did to breach the contract so it probably will have to do with assistant coaching salaries. However, rule nothing out at this point. Below are five educated guess on the "bombshell."

1. Ed Pastilong killed a hobo during last year's Big East Tournament b/c he thought he looked a little "Jewey."

2. All improvements to Mountaineer Field and Puskar Center were made by child laborers.

3. Mike Garrison once followed RR into a bathroom and after trying a "wide-stance" offered Rodriguez his choice of PhD in Physics, a J.D., or an R.N. degree to keep quiet.

4. No women were interviewed for the head coaching job either.

5. Apple. New study rooms in Puskar Center actually opium dens where administrators bring in young Korean boys to "entertain" them.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

PAY UP DEADBEAT--- HOW'S YOUR 2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER????

Anonymous said...

PAY UP SLIMEBALL

Anonymous said...

Quite A Character

January 21, 2008 · By Gary Benz
For all those Ohio State fans still lamenting head coach Jim Tressel's second straight loss in the national championship game, I have two words for you: Rich Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has barely been head coach of the Michigan Wolverines for a month yet in that short period of time he's created enough adversity for himself that the Michigan administration might as well fly a red flag permanently. And with each passing day, Buckeye fans discover a new reason to appreciate what they have in Tressel as the contrast between him and Rodriguez couldn't be starker. As Tressel might say and probably has, adversity doesn't build character it reveals it.

The first indication of the kind of person the Wolverines got with their third choice was the fact that Rodriguez didn't have the guts to deliver his resignation personally. He wrote it out and had his graduate assistant deliver it to West Virginia University athletic director Ed Pastilong. Good message that ought to grace the entrance of the Michigan weight room: "When the going gets tough, get a graduate student to do your work." If that's the kind of toughness and courage that Rodriguez will bring to the Michigan program, it won't be long before its fans are screaming for Lloyd Carr to come out of retirement.

Rodriguez's cowardly resignation may be partially explainable, however, by the next sign of his questionable values. Before either Mountaineers administration or players knew of the resignation, Rodriguez was on the telephone with highly-prized recruit Terrelle Pryor of Pennsylvania to tell him that he was leaving for Michigan. Now word is trickling out that Rodriguez didn't just call Pryor, he may have also called two other recruits while still technically employed by West Virginia. The West Virginia administration has gathered Rodriguez's cell phone records and is still investigating.

Rodriguez at present is denying the timeline although Pryor's statement at the time, as reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, certainly indicates otherwise. But the fact Rodriguez put himself in this position peels away still another layer of what's turning out to be a quickly rotting onion. One would think, for example, that Rodriguez might be more concerned about the reaction his leaving might have on the players he had already personally recruited and coached for several years at West Virginia. Instead, he seemed much more interested at that moment with trying to lure Pryor to Michigan, almost as if his hiring there had depended on it. Hmm.

More insidious, though, as reported by the West Virginia Gazette-Mail, is that Rodriguez's call to Pryor may also have simultaneously prevented West Virginia from making a call to a recruit who had publicly announced that the Mountaineers were high on his list of possible choices. At the time of the call, there was a so-called quiet period with respect to recruits in effect under the NCAA's rules, meaning that coaches could only contact a potential recruit once a week. Since Rodriguez was still technically in the employ of West Virginia at the time, that prevented anyone else from the West Virginia program from contacting Pryor for the rest of the week. One wonders whether Rodriguez, on behalf of the Michigan program, called Pryor again that same week after he officially became Michigan's coach. Hmm.

If Pryor ends up in Michigan, the Wolverines athletic director, William C. Martin, should probably expect a friendly call from an NCAA investigator. As Desi said to Lucy, there will be some splaining to do.

As it turns out, the calls to recruits is turning out to be the least of the issues. Underlying this whole mess is the little matter of the $4 million that Rodriguez is trying to deprive West Virginia for ditching the program just one season into a multi-year extension he had signed last August. Rodriguez, through his lawyers, has rattled enough sabers to make it pretty clear that the administration shouldn't expect a check anytime soon, so much so that West Virginia filed a pre-emptive lawsuit to ensure it would be able to collect.

The $4 million is owed under what is referred to as a liquidated damages provision in Rodriguez's contract. In simple terms, when a person breaches a contract, he will owe the other party damages or money in an amount that would make that person whole as if the breach had never occurred. The nature of some contracts makes it difficult to measure the amount of the damage. This is particularly true with coaching contracts because a coach of a successful program that quits while under contract can devastate his former program. There is potential lost revenue from season tickets and loges, lost recruits, lost booster and advertising income and the like, all of which is very difficult to calculate. Consequently, the parties often will add a liquidated damages provision to basically define up front the monetary damage that they believe the school will incur if the coach leaves. Courts will generally enforce a liquidated damages clause unless they believe it is a penalty in disguise. That is because courts will not typically impose a penalty, in addition to damages, against a party for breaching a contract.

This is the rub in the Rodriguez case. Through intermediaries Rodriguez has made it known that he believes that West Virginia breached its contract first and thus the liquidated damages provision doesn't apply. When that argument doesn't work, and it probably won't, his lawyers will turn to their best argument, that the $4 million doesn't represent damages but instead is a penalty because of the amount. This, too, will be an uphill battle given the unique circumstances of this case: a popular relatively long-term coach who has brought a program twice to the brink of the national championship game. It's fair to say that West Virginia will suffer financially and for awhile. Whatever one thinks of Rodriguez's successor at West Virginia, one thing is clear he has a lot to rebuild in the wake of this mess.

Rodriguez didn't help himself by taking a shredder to all of his files, the latest questionable act of his that West Virginia is now investigating. Whether the files were official files of a state university and hence public records is a legal matter still to be sorted out. If they were, Rodriguez may have some legal trouble to boot. But even if they were not, they clearly had some value to the program and will be difficult to re-create, meaning that Rodriguez unwittingly enhanced the cause of his former school in its quest to enforce the $4 million liquidated damages clause by causing damage that's difficult to calculate. Moreover, yet to be answered is whether Rodriguez's little Enron incident was done out of simple spite or to hide some unflattering truths about the program he ran. Hmm.


With the controversy intensifying each day, you would think that Rodriguez and his new employers would try to make it go away. Instead, Rodriguez has fanned the flames by laughingly claiming to the Toledo Blade that he can't understand why he's being smeared by the West Virginia administration. After all, he says, he's tried to take the high road. If Rodriguez defines the high road by his conduct, from how he hid his interview from his employers, to how he then denied it took place, to how he then delivered his resignation, to how he then called a recruit before telling his own players, to how he then shredded his files, then the bar truly has been lowered to new depths in college athletics.

Fortunately, that's not quite the case. Though Ohio State, like virtually every program, has had its share of athletes in trouble, no one has yet to question the ethics of Tressel. The national media may complain about the Buckeyes playing the lower-division Youngstown State, but what they miss is Tressel using that game as a way of repaying a debt of gratitude he feels he owed to the school and the program that gave him a chance. Right now, Rodriguez won't even pay the debt he actually owes to West Virginia.

I suppose there are coaches who have had worse starts to their new jobs than Rodriguez, George O'Leary at Notre Dame comes to mind, but not many. If he's going to overcome these self-inflicted wounds, Rodriguez better hope that recruits and their parents do not put much stock in the questionable backgrounds of the coaches they let into their living rooms.

The success Tressel continues to have in recruiting each year says otherwise. But if Rodriguez is banking on parental indifference to cover his sins, then the good news for Buckeyes fans is that their team should continue to enjoy the competitive advantage they currently hold over the Wolverines for at least as long as Tressel remains in Columbus.

Anonymous said...

Britney Spears. Apples. Blaaah.
So, I need a first name beginning with... correct?

Heath Ledger. that's dumb.
why?
i dunno. its dumb.

peppermints are wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Has Magee allowed himself to be used as part of smear campaign?
By Jack Bogaczyk
Daily Mail Sports Editor
Timing is everything.

An unsubstantiated racism charge against an unidentified administrator during West Virginia University's football coaching search became public on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial holiday weekend.

The synergy smacks of something more seamy than what the late Dr. King called "the jangling discords of our nation."

If timing is everything, perhaps, a chronology of events involving former WVU offensive coordinator Calvin Magee and his supposed desire to become the next Mountaineer head coach would be in order.

First, however, let's be clear about one thing.

There hasn't been so much as a peep from Magee confirming the statement by his agent, Mike Brown (also Rich Rodriguez's representative), about whether someone from WVU's tightly buttoned search group indicated that Magee had no shot at the job because he is black.

Here are some other considerations:

If Magee were incensed that he was the target of racism at a school and in an athletic department where he had worked for seven years, why did he come back, work two weeks of bowl practice and stay to coach in the Fiesta Bowl game?

Was the WVU administrator supposedly in question even on the search committee? If not, why did Magee not go to someone among the group and pose the notion?

If what Brown said happened at WVU really did, then why didn't Magee speak up immediately, rather than having the serious charge floated publicly by a third party a month after the supposed incident?

Why didn't Magee inform the Black Coaches & Administrators organization, which now says it will look further into WVU's search process?

If Magee doesn't corroborate what Brown claims, naming names, how does Michigan's new offensive coordinator think that will play down the road when he hopes to get job interviews to be a head coach?

Has Magee allowed himself to be used as another piece of Brown's engineered smear campaign?

West Virginia Athletic Director Ed Pastilong said Monday that the events of Dec. 16-17-18 display why Magee wasn't a candidate -- besides the fact that, according to Pastilong, Magee never said he wanted to be a candidate until after he accompanied Rodriguez to Michigan and was introduced as a UM staff newcomer.

Then, Pastilong said, Magee turned down another chance to throw his name into the hat.

Rodriguez met with Michigan officials in Toledo, Ohio, on Dec. 14. He officially accepted the job two days later. He left the Puskar Center and the Mountaineers went off to practice for the upcoming Fiesta Bowl.

"On Sunday (Dec. 16), we practiced and three coaches weren't at the practice," Pastilong said. "That was Rich, Calvin and Tony (Gibson). A staff meeting followed that I attended. The three weren't there, either."

That's because the trio was preparing to head to Ann Arbor, Mich., for Rodriguez's introduction as the Wolverine coach. At that Monday (Dec. 17) session, Rodriguez introduced Magee as Michigan's new offensive coordinator.

"On the third day, Tuesday I guess," Pastilong said, "Tony was back and turned in his letter of resignation. Calvin chose to stay and coach. That was fine. I asked him and he said, yes, that was what he wanted to do."

Pastilong said that as best he can tell, according to Brown, the alleged indication that Magee's skin color would eliminate him from consideration "took place on Sunday ... Calvin left that Sunday."

Pastilong said he phoned Black Coaches & Administrators Executive Director Floyd A. Keith that Monday to discuss potential minority candidates for the just-starting WVU search process.

"Calvin was in Michigan that day, but we talked when he came back," Pastilong said.

The West Virginia AD said that although eventual hire Bill Stewart expressed a desire to be considered Rodriguez's successor "on that Monday," Magee "never made any indication to me that he wanted to do that."

After a morning football staff meeting two days after Magee returned to Morgantown, Pastilong said he asked the Mountaineer offensive coordinator to go from a Puskar Center hallway to a meeting room to talk.

"I asked Calvin, 'What are you intentions?' or something like that," Pastilong said. "Calvin said, 'I'm definitely going (to Michigan).' Then, he said to me he would have liked to have been considered.

"I told him that Monday morning he was introduced as part of the staff at Michigan and, now, he was telling me he would have liked to have been considered. He never had said that before.

"I asked, 'Would you like to be considered now?' We were still in the process of talking to people. He said, 'No.' "

On Monday, CBSSports.com reported that Brown has a "bombshell" later this week when Rodriguez responds to WVU's buyout lawsuit and that WVU President Mike Garrison and Gov. Joe Manchin will have "some explaining to do back in the state."

Pastilong said that WVU knows it will continue to take hits over the Rodriguez resignation. He also said the university's Department of Public Safety may be through with their investigation into what is and isn't gone after Rodriguez's admission that he shredded documents in exiting his alma mater.

"I'm extremely pleased with what Billy Stewart did leading up to the Fiesta Bowl and in the game and what's been done following, I continue to be pleased," Pastilong said. "The continuing distractions are displeasing and we're trying to make a point of focusing on our responsibilities.

"I'm a bit concerned that all of this may have a small effect on our recruiting at the last second, but in talking to our coaches, they say we will get the kind of players we need to continue our success."

The Magee issue has been made out to be black and white. What all of this Rodriguez resignation mess still has is way too much gray area.

Anonymous said...

"I have been following the coaching search since Mr. Carr announced this would be his last year. Actually, before that. I figured Mr. Carr was getting to the end and wondered who the administration might hire to replace him. After a long painful search (and ESPN forcing Mr. Miles' hand to stay at LSU and win the National Championship), we rushed in at the end and grabbed a man lower on the list. I feel like we should have checked Mr. Rodriguez' background besides the W-L success at a smaller program and the X's and O's of his spread offense. I have no doubt that he is a good coach, a true innovator. I have trouble with the baggage he has brought here with him. Read my earlier posts if you share my concerns about his character and molding our young men to succeed off the field. I won't beat that to death over and over.
However, having read the emails concerning Mr. Rodriguez and his agent Mr. Brown's dealings with WV, I agree with the article. I think our administration should lean on him to settle this buyout lawsuit with WV, out of court and as soon as possible. From the emails I read, Mr. Brown seemed to strong-arm and manipulate WV into giving Mr. Rodriguez anything he wanted. Being a smaller program they tried to keep him for awhile even when his demands were on par with Axl Rose. Everything I have been able to find written before he came here indicates to me that the whole state of WV treated him like a rock star. When they grew tired of his demands (and he lost to Pitt) and they drew a line, he crossed it. I think Mr. Martin needs to show Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Brown the chain of command that has served us so well. The coach does not have total control of everything, the coach is our employee, the coach does not use boosters to make a hostage issue out of his wish list. Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Brown, you will not bully us. This nonsense will not be tolerated here, and you WILL be put in your place long before our Governor has to get involved. You will follow our rules, you will abide NCAA rules, you will have people checking you for compliance and personal conduct and you will answer to them. You are the football coach, not the boss. Your agent's threats will not get you what you want, they will put you on the other side of the door! If you try to bully us, we will get someone else to do your job. Maybe even the guy who should have gotten the job anyway. "

Anonymous said...

I have been following the coaching search since Mr. Carr announced this would be his last year. Actually, before that. I figured Mr. Carr was getting to the end and wondered who the administration might hire to replace him. After a long painful search (and ESPN forcing Mr. Miles' hand to stay at LSU and win the National Championship), we rushed in at the end and grabbed a man lower on the list. I feel like we should have checked Mr. Rodriguez' background besides the W-L success at a smaller program and the X's and O's of his spread offense. I have no doubt that he is a good coach, a true innovator. I have trouble with the baggage he has brought here with him. Read my earlier posts if you share my concerns about his character and molding our young men to succeed off the field. I won't beat that to death over and over.
However, having read the emails concerning Mr. Rodriguez and his agent Mr. Brown's dealings with WV, I agree with the article. I think our administration should lean on him to settle this buyout lawsuit with WV, out of court and as soon as possible. From the emails I read, Mr. Brown seemed to strong-arm and manipulate WV into giving Mr. Rodriguez anything he wanted. Being a smaller program they tried to keep him for awhile even when his demands were on par with Axl Rose. Everything I have been able to find written before he came here indicates to me that the whole state of WV treated him like a rock star. When they grew tired of his demands (and he lost to Pitt) and they drew a line, he crossed it. I think Mr. Martin needs to show Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Brown the chain of command that has served us so well. The coach does not have total control of everything, the coach is our employee, the coach does not use boosters to make a hostage issue out of his wish list. Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Brown, you will not bully us. This nonsense will not be tolerated here, and you WILL be put in your place long before our Governor has to get involved. You will follow our rules, you will abide NCAA rules, you will have people checking you for compliance and personal conduct and you will answer to them. You are the football coach, not the boss. Your agent's threats will not get you what you want, they will put you on the other side of the door! If you try to bully us, we will get someone else to do your job. Maybe even the guy who should have gotten the job anyway.

Anonymous said...

I have been following the coaching search since Mr. Carr announced this would be his last year. Actually, before that. I figured Mr. Carr was getting to the end and wondered who the administration might hire to replace him. After a long painful search (and ESPN forcing Mr. Miles' hand to stay at LSU and win the National Championship), we rushed in at the end and grabbed a man lower on the list. I feel like we should have checked Mr. Rodriguez' background besides the W-L success at a smaller program and the X's and O's of his spread offense. I have no doubt that he is a good coach, a true innovator. I have trouble with the baggage he has brought here with him. Read my earlier posts if you share my concerns about his character and molding our young men to succeed off the field. I won't beat that to death over and over.
However, having read the emails concerning Mr. Rodriguez and his agent Mr. Brown's dealings with WV, I agree with the article. I think our administration should lean on him to settle this buyout lawsuit with WV, out of court and as soon as possible. From the emails I read, Mr. Brown seemed to strong-arm and manipulate WV into giving Mr. Rodriguez anything he wanted. Being a smaller program they tried to keep him for awhile even when his demands were on par with Axl Rose. Everything I have been able to find written before he came here indicates to me that the whole state of WV treated him like a rock star. When they grew tired of his demands (and he lost to Pitt) and they drew a line, he crossed it. I think Mr. Martin needs to show Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Brown the chain of command that has served us so well. The coach does not have total control of everything, the coach is our employee, the coach does not use boosters to make a hostage issue out of his wish list. Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Brown, you will not bully us. This nonsense will not be tolerated here, and you WILL be put in your place long before our Governor has to get involved. You will follow our rules, you will abide NCAA rules, you will have people checking you for compliance and personal conduct and you will answer to them. You are the football coach, not the boss. Your agent's threats will not get you what you want, they will put you on the other side of the door! If you try to bully us, we will get someone else to do your job. Maybe even the guy who should have gotten the job anyway.

Anonymous said...

I have been following the coaching search since Mr. Carr announced this would be his last year. Actually, before that. I figured Mr. Carr was getting to the end and wondered who the administration might hire to replace him. After a long painful search (and ESPN forcing Mr. Miles' hand to stay at LSU and win the National Championship), we rushed in at the end and grabbed a man lower on the list. I feel like we should have checked Mr. Rodriguez' background besides the W-L success at a smaller program and the X's and O's of his spread offense. I have no doubt that he is a good coach, a true innovator. I have trouble with the baggage he has brought here with him. Read my earlier posts if you share my concerns about his character and molding our young men to succeed off the field. I won't beat that to death over and over.
However, having read the emails concerning Mr. Rodriguez and his agent Mr. Brown's dealings with WV, I agree with the article. I think our administration should lean on him to settle this buyout lawsuit with WV, out of court and as soon as possible. From the emails I read, Mr. Brown seemed to strong-arm and manipulate WV into giving Mr. Rodriguez anything he wanted. Being a smaller program they tried to keep him for awhile even when his demands were on par with Axl Rose. Everything I have been able to find written before he came here indicates to me that the whole state of WV treated him like a rock star. When they grew tired of his demands (and he lost to Pitt) and they drew a line, he crossed it. I think Mr. Martin needs to show Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Brown the chain of command that has served us so well. The coach does not have total control of everything, the coach is our employee, the coach does not use boosters to make a hostage issue out of his wish list. Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Brown, you will not bully us. This nonsense will not be tolerated here, and you WILL be put in your place long before our Governor has to get involved. You will follow our rules, you will abide NCAA rules, you will have people checking you for compliance and personal conduct and you will answer to them. You are the football coach, not the boss. Your agent's threats will not get you what you want, they will put you on the other side of the door! If you try to bully us, we will get someone else to do your job. Maybe even the guy who should have gotten the job anyway.