RichRod speaks at length; takes a jab at DB

Submitted by Blue_Sox on February 4th, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Rich Rod spoke in depth with Dennis Dodd of CBS. (Link:

Most of the things are stuff we've heard him say before..."we were almost there; lots of drama; took longer than I expected." Something new that I hadn't heard him say was a critique of Dave Brandon and his position to make the decision that he made:

"Were you treated fairly by Dave Brandon?

Rodriguez:"To say publicly how I was treated would be self-serving. Everybody says three years is enough time. If you don't know all the factors maybe you make that conclusion. If you're here in the middle of this for three years fighting all the battles. ... We'd like to be able to finish the job. I can't sit here a month later and say this and that should have happened.

"What I am going to do to make sure the next job I get, we win the national championship and everybody is pulling in the right direction. Dave's been on the job -- what? -- nine months? He knows the business world. I did the best I could to tell him or show him what was going on in the football program. I tried to show him as best I could. He wasn't involved in athletics [before getting to Michigan]. I've been a head coach in Division I for 10 years and coaching for 25. I know college football."

(Note: Brandon played defensive end under Bo Schembechler at Michigan. He is also a former Michigan regent. Brandon came to the school after serving as Domino's Pizza CEO.)


That's an interesting place to needle Brandon on. I don't think it's fair to say he "wasn't involved in athletics." As Dodd points out in his note, he did play for Michigan and as a Regent from 1998-2006 he undoubtedly was involved in athletics at least  little bit. Seems like sour grapes to me.




February 4th, 2011 at 5:10 PM ^

"If almost anyone here had been treated like RR was by Brandon, he or she would be saying a lot worse about him than RR is right now."

Like what?  Perhaps the guy paid millions not to work could say, "Excuse me, could you please pass the diamonds?  I must sprinkle them upon my cereal so my doo-doo sparkles."

The options are not limited to "blame others" and "blame others".  RR could have simply said, "I tried my best, but we weren't able to achieve the results we hoped."  Then, if pushed to blame someone else, he could say, "Look, I'm the coach - the captain of the ship.  Was everything perfect?  No.  But life isn't perfect.  We did our best and now we move on to other challenges."


February 4th, 2011 at 5:47 PM ^

"Well, it just shows you the character of a man when he holds you, and all your assistants who don't make millions of dollars, in limbo for a month when he could have fired us in enough time to perform a more thorough search and to allow us time to find another place of employment."


"That University is so caught up in their past that they are blinded to their potential for the future."

Like (what probably the majority of people would sound like)

"(Insert boss here) is a stupid POS.  (Insert boss's gender here) doesn't know ****.  That business is so F'D from the inside out.  Way too much bickering and drama from the inside.  I'm glad I got the hell out of there."


February 4th, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

That if any of you were Rich, or had just lost your job, or had lost it in the manner that he did you wouldn't have the same feelings and be saying a hell of a lot more than he is.  He has every right to feel the way he feels and say the things he's saying.  We have every right to move on and ingore him if we so choose.  Personally, I would be pissed at the way I was fired and would probably be saying worse.

As far as the sanctions go, those were largely the work of old LC / Michigan Man loyalists who were fired, because of their role in the violations, long before Rich was.  That's just an excuse and it's annoying that people keep putting that on Rodriguez.  They wouldn't even be mentioned if he had beat OSU or MSU, but he didn't.  Dave Brandon himself said the sanctions were not enough to warrant firing or any other disciplinary action.  The only reason to throw them around in these discussions is to cloud the real reason for his dismissal or make yourself feel better. 

He was fired for exactly the reasons he says he was, the light at the end of the tunnel was there, but people couldn't wait for it.  Be it right or wrong I don't care.  I just hope we see the same light either way.


February 4th, 2011 at 10:34 PM ^

In Rodriguez's defense, when he states that DB knows business but not athletics, he is talking about a man who thought it would be a good idea to put a man-sized curly fries on ice in the Big House.

Just sayin'.

On the whole, I think he makes some good points. It's easy to write this all off as "sour grapes" and, let's face it, we all would like to anyway since he's no longer our coach. But whatever you might think about RR or DB or Hoke, you have to admit the way things went down was probably not ideal -- even taking the circumstances up to the bowl game result as "given".

This interview is entirely in line with RR's normal media-talk style. It was my least favorite thing about him, and seeing it now when he and I aren't on the same "side," I can empathize a bit with RR's detractors. This does come off as petty -- and the author seems to want us to see it that way, including a note about DB's short football career, as if that is at all equivalent to RR's experience in sports. It's hardly diplomatic (though he does show some restraint in not divulging details) -- as others stated, the business savvy thing to do would spit out some useless statement like "We did our best but it wasn't enough." This keeps doors from slamming in your face. On the one hand, it made my gut wrench when his demeanor represented the block M. But I must admit to having a grudging respect for it all the same. RR may lack tact, but I get the feeling he isn't bullshitting us.

Time will be the judge for these two men. Is DB nothing more than the King of Kitsch: a pawn in a suit, overly worried about brand image and marketing, and not concerned enough with substance and integrity; or is he a great leader of men like his old coach, Bo? Is RR a gutsy man of virtue who speaks his mind without regard for pissing off the wrong people, who may be beneath him in transcendent value but hold petty material power; or is he the slime-ball so many made him out to be? Some day, perhaps we shall know. Regardless, if all goes well, then from here on out DB will have little to no influence over the product on the field, so the point may be moot after all.


February 5th, 2011 at 4:25 PM ^

It's astonishing to me how people can think that this guy did anything positive.  The guy took his precise Big East formula for winning football games, brought it to a much bigger / more athletic conference, and failed to adjust.  His "offensive genius" ran a grand total of 5 different plays all season (3 of which involved the same play, just with a read), and didn't do one thing new with 2 weeks to prepare for a crappy Penn State team and a month to prepare for the bowl game.  Offensive geniuses lick their chops with that much time to prepare for one team, meanwhile Rich did nothing. 

Offensive geniuses devise schemes to where they can move the ball with vastly less talented players.  Rich had arguably the most athletic player in the country touching the ball on every play and still couldn't sniff moving the ball for a full game against the good defenses.  

No defense, no special teams, no player development, all the while with more resources than almost every program in the country.  I don't know much about football, but this does not seem like a positive sign leading towards a future national championship.

Food for thought: Brady Hoke took a team with no recruiting power, and a cupboard that was ACTUALLY bare after 2008 (SDSU lost by 60 to New Mexico, as opposed to Rich inheriting a program that was one game away from the national championship 2 seasons before), and in two years, built a team that would have given Michigan all it could have handled last season.