New Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez received an interesting welcome from the city's weekly newspaper. The story can be found here.
The article claims that:
Rodriguez's record is terrible—when it comes to ethics, if not on the football field. At West Virginia University, he skipped town for greener pastures shortly after signing a new contract. His December 2007 departure was so ugly that he didn't even bother to coach his team in their January 2008 bowl game. West Virginia wound up suing Rodriguez for breach of contract—and eventually got all the money it sought in a settlement.
What did Rodriguez do at his next stop, the University of Michigan? He violated several major NCAA rules. When players came forward to discuss the violations—which included Rodriguez and his staff making players practice longer than the rules allow—he denied he was in the wrong. "We go by the rules," Rodriguez said.
Later, the university admitted to the rules violations.
Now, after those disgraceful activities, he's the new UA football coach, with a five-year, $9.55 million contract—with incentives beyond that.
In making this hire, UA athletic director Greg Byrne proved the above point: At the UA, money and winning are apparently more important than academics, fairness and ethics.
For anyone who has sniffed Three and Out, this letter from the editor seems especially absurd. It really demonstrates the power of the media over the masses--and the power of the media within itself. It's a shame that Rodriguez is being welcomed in this fashion. Most of us know him as the coach who lost big at Michigan, but we also know him as a good guy who cared greatly about his players.