For reference, I was responding to this: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-06-morrisseyfeb06,0,596...
Your column on coaching "decommitments" really evidenced a lack of familiarity with the college game, particularly with respect to Rich Rodriguez. Your portrayal of him as a money-hungry job-hopping "villain" followed a steady drumbeat pushed by some several months ago, but was inaccurate. I have never heard that Rodriguez is the "king" of pursuing verbally committed players. What is the foundation for this statement? Joe Tiller made one very public comment about this, but this is common practice nearly everywhere, particularly in the more aggressive conferences. If you followed recruiting you would know this.
You would also know that in transition years, when a class is partially completed and there is a change of regime/scheme this is even more common, and indeed, pragmatically necessary. Kids must reassess their destination when coaches shuffle around. A player from Detroit only suited for a spread offense might have committed to a school in another time zone, but would prefer to stay in Michigan if there is a spot for him. A player in another state may have always been interested in Michigan but thought he had no chance because the old regime didn't consider him a "fit." Is it that you think these kids shouldn't be able to switch to the better place for them, or that they should have to find these opportunities doing their own research on the web?
Also, coaches usually do not pay buyouts. Not fully. You must know this. If you even casually follow the game you would know this. Rodriguez is not unusual for not immediately paying his--to do so would be the oddity. Just one year prior the same two schools had been presented with a buyout situation and sliced the penalty in half. There is always legal wrangling. It would be malpractice if an attorney did not attempt to negotiate the liquidated damages provision of a contract when the specified damages far exceed the real financial losses incurred by the breached party. This is standard. In this particular situation it became a big deal because of (understandable) anger in West Virginia. The same anger pushed scurrilous news stories (e.g. someone operating a paper-shredder must be participating in a sinister conspiracy) that produced a stereotype. You lazily relied on that stereotype as exhibit A in your column, which actually makes a reasonable argument. Unfortunately you lost credibility with me, and others who are familiar with the operations of college football, because you used such sloppy and tired examples.
Too much sports writing is written only off of someone else's headlines. It is necessary to understand the subject matter directly, particularly if you are going to use the loaded character-attacking language you employed to criticize Rodriguez ("villain," "ooze"). I hope that you are fortunate enough to never be publicly slandered based on hearsay and the popular wisdom of your rivals. And I hope you show more diligence in your research the next time you trot out an easy victim in your writing.
Did he reply?
Coulda used a vampire.
My email to him would have read:
F*** you, scoundrel.
Although mine is more direct, yours is considerably more eloquent. Well done.
Sadly, though, the putz won't understand it.
I like how he slams coaches for leaving a school, but forgets to slam Boston College for firing their coach. All the same horribles (the kids don't get to play for the coach they signed up for) apply to BC's decision, but that administration is the hero.
"Let me guess: Michigan grad?"
Never saw a job he didn't like? He was at WVU for 7 seasons. How about AD's who never saw a coach they didn't like?
Besides, isn't RR paying like $1.5 million out of pocket (over 3 years) to WVU just too coach here?
of a job-jumper, that is. I like that comment in their comments section which calls out Bobby Petrino as the prime example. Why he decided to go after RR over Petrino is beyond me.