I can spare you all a Freep link (RR property lawsuit)...

Submitted by Section 1 on March 24th, 2010 at 4:22 PM

The Free Press "reports", on a Tuscaloosa newspaper report, about another failed condo-investment deal in which RR is being sued, as one of numerous civil defendants. I think the amount is less than a million, so it would presumably something like a short-sale on property, something that is, uh, sort of going around right now with respect to residential developments.

The only news is that I hadn't realized that Cleeg Lamar Greene, convicted of fraud (defrauding RR among others) died a few months ago.

Banks are suing RR because he is presumably the deepest-pocket defendant. He was one of numerous investors in an LLC. The Tuscaloosa paper makes some mention about the time period when Alabama came to Rich Rodriguez first, before Nick Saban, to offer RR the HC job for the Crimson Tide.

Nothing to see, no need to look at the Freep (they didn't really report anything new anyway) so this is an excellent opportunity to deny hits to Freep.com.


Darrens Pet Turtle

March 24th, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

Though this is a differect project/LLC, this is the same group as the failed deal in VA last year. Both projects are called The Legends.

Again, nothing fraudulent on Coach's part, and absolutely irrelevant to the team/his job.

Raback Omaba

March 24th, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

As someone who is in the Commercial Real Estate business, this is happening often and everywhere right now. The foreclosure crisis that hit the residential market over the past few years is taking it's hold in the commercial market as well. A large portion (I hesitate to say majority, but it could very well be the case) of the commercial real estate you see on a daily basis is under water (i.e., worth less than the value of the loan.) Failed condo projects and foreclosure situations are EVERYWHERE.

This will be hailed as a character flaw on Coach Rod...however I know PERSONALLY many, many people who are in similar situations with failed real estate deals and are involved in lawsuits and trouble with lenders. That's just par for the course in this day and age.

And yes, I am guessing that they are suing Coach Rod because he has some of the deepest pockets in the deal. Additionally, the can rattle the sabre a little bit because he's a public figure who is under large scrutiny, so they feel that they can put his feet to the fire a little bit more than the average joe.

Does he owe them money? Probably. Was he defrauded? Maybe. Did he make a poor business decision? Yes.

He'll probably be out a few $100K, worst case scenario.

Raback Omaba

March 24th, 2010 at 4:49 PM ^

I agree, however there are a lot of layers to the onion when it comes to this stuff. He'll end up paying something, however there have been instances of borrowers getting out of recourse situations. All you really need is a good attorney and a decently strong case.

Claiming lender responsibility - "The lender is partly responsible for the failed loan by their reckless underwriting and lending on this deal" is one way to go.

The upside is this - RichRod's gonna have a lot of bills to pay over the next few years, so he'll have to pull out all the stops to make sure he keeps his job!

Section 1

March 24th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

"Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez targeted in another real estate lawsuit."

"Targeted" is one of those loaded words that makes you immediately think that he is in trouble. Moreover, that he is somehow alone or singled out.

I don't know how many other defendants there are, nor what their roles may have been. AA.com readers won't know that either, because their crack staff hasn't seen anything, apparently, other than the same Tuscaloosa story that the Freep's crackerjack reporting team discovered. Obviously, based on the pleadings filed in the lawsuit, the AA.com headline could just as easily have been "Illinois assistant coach targeted in another real estate lawsuit."

By the way, I happen to know that Mark Snyder was long ago on his own little fishing expedition with resepct to Cleeg Lamar, FOIA-ing U-M for any air-charter records or manifests to see if Lamar flew on any team flights. We never heard anything about that, and I presume that Snyder found absolutely nothing to report. Keep on fishing, Mark. You're doing a helluva job. You and your moles keep up the good work.

This is why I keep saying: Michigan has rivals, and Michigan has enemies. The two are not the same. Tressel and OSU are "rivals." Rosenberg, Snyder and the Freep are "enemies."

Section 1

March 24th, 2010 at 7:04 PM ^

They just trot out the stories, and turn the Freep.com readership loose. The "Comments" threads are supposed to be moderated; if they are, the stuff that is deleted must be truly incredible. Because what appears online is mostly a toxic dump of hate-speech aimed at Michigan and Rich Rodriguez.

It is also a big seller of hits for the Free Press. This was their online rank of most popular stories at about 7:00 pm on a weeknight:

1. Kilpatrick's spokesman questioned about his fee.
2. Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez sued in Alabama.
3. Ex-Lion Boyd is cleared of forced sex with girl, 16.
4. Granholm faults Cox for fighting health care reform.
5. Kilpatrick benefactor says she wanted to help kids.
6. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick testifies before grand jury.
7. Economists: Michigan's jobless rate decline reflects stabilization.

In other words, a largely inconsequential and not-very-new-news story about RR gets more hits than a Detroit Lion's sexual assault charge, health care reform, and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick testifying before a federal grand jury. The Freep has trained a readership to consume this stuff.


March 24th, 2010 at 8:21 PM ^

I'm confused by this. It was an LLC, so why can they go after the individual investors? Isn't that why you set up an LLC, so that they can't come after you personally?

Section 1

March 24th, 2010 at 9:10 PM ^

And yes, an LLC business structure would establish a corporate form with which to purchase insurance, shield shareholder/owners from liability suits from injuries, etc.

But banks and other lenders know that too. And so if you've got a brand-new LLC that says it is going to build condos, and all they have is some land, and some cash, and a lot more debt, and some guys who are interested in buidling stuff, and if you are the banker or the lender for that group, what you say is, "Great! We can help you with that project. We'll loan your LLC a million bucks. No problem. All we want is for the four of you guys who are big-name coaches and who have a lot of money of your own, to sign this little personal guarantee here. Just sign right here and here and here..."

Secured lenders know all about LLC liability...

[btw - my guess is that those lenders and bankers in Tuscaloosa also said, "Hey, Y'all are gonna get 5 points knocked off that loan, just cuz we like you so much and we think your condo project is gonna be so great. And by the way, how's about some tickets for the Auburn game...?"]