Sports
2:41 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Reports: Rodriguez fired, may get $2.5 million in buyout

UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.:

The University of Michigan is calling the reports that head football coach Rich Rodriguez has been fired "speculation." TheWolverine.com reports that the University released this statement:

"Everything that is being reported is media speculation at this point," Dave Ablauf, U-M associate athletic director said in a statement. "The definitive voice on this matter is Dave Brandon and he has not and will not speak publicly until a final decision has been made. I will let you know when Dave is prepared to comment."

The website reports that the players meeting that had been scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight was moved to 4 p.m. tomorrow.

UPDATE: 4:24 p.m.: ESPN analysts talk about the Rich Rodriguez firing. Say it was a "marriage [that] never started out on the right foot." Analyst Craig James says Rodriguez told him that people were not on the same page when he came to Ann Arbor.

2:41 p.m.:

Fox News in Detroit and the Detroit Free Press are reporting that the University of Michigan's head football coach, Rich Rodriguez, has been fired.

According to the Fox report:

Sources tell Fox 2 that Rich Rodriguez was fired as head coach of the University of Michigan football team Tuesday.

The University of Michigan might have to pay Rodriguez $2.5 million to buy out the final three years of his contract.

The coach never got off to a good start at the University of Michigan. After being hired, he was sued by West Virginia University for breaking his contract. That case eventually settled and the University of Michigan paid $2.5 million of the $4 million settlement.

After that, the NCAA launched an investigation into the University of Michigan's football program after news reports suggested the team was exceeding allowable practice times. That investigation ended finding no major violations.

But in the end, it was Rodriguez's win-loss record that was the final straw. He had a record of 15-22 overall, and 6-18 in the Big Ten. If his teams had won more games, especially against big rivals, he likely would still be coaching at the University of Michigan.

So, by a back-of-the-napkin calculation, the University of Michigan paid $12.5 million for Rich Rodriguez's services over three years ($2.5 million per year for three years, $2.5 million to settle the West Virginia lawsuit, and $2.5 million for the buyout).