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The Yahoo! Contributing Network ran a story this week of a reporter from Michigan who writes: “From one Michigan fan, I’d like to extend my congratulations to Rich Rodriguez” for beating Toledo in the UA’s season-opener. In Rodriguez’s first season in Ann Arbor in 2008, Michigan was upset by Toledo.
I have yet to read anybody with Arizona ties write a congratulatory message to Mike Stoops for Oklahoma’s season-opening win at UTEP. And Stoops, the defensive coordinator with the Sooners, was Arizona’s head coach longer (eight years) compared to Rodriguez’s three-year stint at Michigan. … This reporter, named Aaron David Harris also writes, “Despite what you might have heard, Rich Rod is actually a really good guy.” Sounds to me that with this article, and others from Michigan this summer writing about Rodriguez, that people in that region miss the guy. Somebody needs to employ a psychologist and analyze this one. Michiganders have chastised Rodriguez and claimed he was not a “Michigan Man” — whatever that means — but they continue to write about him more than a season after he is gone? Sorry to sound so blunt, but Brady Hoke is the Michigan coach now guys. Arizona fans and administration should take note: They have a guy, obviously, that they should keep through thick and thin. …
John Helsley of The Oklahoman writes an informative piece about Rodriguez, detailing the coach’s background and why he left the comforts of West Virginia for Michigan. Helsley reports that West Virginia failed him by not granting requests such as improved pay for his assistants.
Unlike the Michigan situation, West Virginia’s boosters supported Rodriguez when the coach tried to convince the Mountaineers’ administration to make the proper steps to take the program to the next level. “I tell you what,” Bob Reynolds, the former CEO of Fidelity Investments told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “I’ve never seen anything mishandled as much as this was. Here’s a university that made a $200,000 decision — it probably could have cost less than that — and it’s going to cost them millions” in booster support, potential bowl money and revenue. “I’ve been in business 36 years, and it’s the worst business decision I’ve ever seen.”
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner