Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Report: Rich Rodriguez meeting with AD
ESPN.com news services
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is expected to meet Tuesday afternoon with football coach Rich Rodriguez, AnnArbor.com reported, citing two people with knowledge of the meetings.
Members of the football team are also scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday to find out if Rodriguez will return as their coach, according to the report.
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Rodriguez's third season ended Saturday with a school-record 38-point loss to Mississippi State in the Progressive Gator Bowl. It dropped his overall record to 15-22 with college football's winningest program.
Brandon said a few hours after the game that he planned to meet with Rodriguez soon and expected to have something to announce later in the week.
If Rodriguez is fired, Michigan will owe him $2.5 million to buy out the final three years of his contract.
Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, who played quarterback at Michigan, has been cited as a potential candidate to replace Rodriguez, should he be dismissed. But a source with direct knowledge of Harbaugh's thinking said Harbaugh is "highly unlikely" to accept the Michigan job if offered, the Detroit Free Press reported.
NCAA compliance issues and three losses to archrival Ohio State have not helped matters for Rodriguez, who left West Virginia to succeed Lloyd Carr.
Last year, the NCAA disciplined the program for practice and training violations, but didn't decide that Rodriguez had failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance with NCAA rules.
The problems came to light just before the 2009 season when the Detroit Free Press, quoting anonymous players, reported that the program was exceeding NCAA limits on practice and training time.
Rodriguez described his mood as "disappointed and frustrated, but not discouraged," after the Gator Bowl loss dropped his record to 7-6 this season and 1-11 against ranked teams in three years at Michigan.
"We're paid to do a job," he said. "We did it as hard and as well as we could with some obstacles, but everybody is going to have obstacles.
"Even though the season certainly didn't shape out the way we wanted it to and there's a lot of things that happened, we fought through it, and the team got closer."
Michigan won its first five games and lost six of the last eight. The season was marred by NCAA violations tied to practices and workouts that led to three years of probation, one of the nation's worst defenses and a pair of kickers who missed 10 of 14 field goals.
If Rodriguez keeps his job, he likely would have to make major changes on the defense he delegates by possibly replacing Greg Robinson with a new coordinator allowed to assemble his own defensive staff to run the scheme of his choice.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.