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Scott Novak: I hate to say I told you so

Published 8:33am Friday, September 4, 2009

What type of a price tag does one put on the reputation of its university and its football program?

For the University of Michigan it was $2.5 million annually.

What price would you put on keeping your integrity?

About $4 million, which is what it will take to buy out Rich Rodriguez’s contract.

Michigan made a monumental mistake in hiring Rodriguez.

I said it back when it happened and it’s even truer today.

The Wolverine program is in dire straits after going 3-9 last season and now with allegations of NCAA violations.

After he was hired, I wrote a column saying there was something about Rodriguez that I didn’t like, but I could not put my finger on it.

The picture is beginning to clear for me and the rest of the country.

For a program that is under the microscope constantly, there have been very few issues with Michigan football.

There have been the occasional player problems, which every university faces at one time or another, especially in these times.

And I am not blind, I am sure there have been things swept under the rug over the years because they are Michigan and that too happens with all big-time college football programs.

But what has taken place since his arrival is becoming an embarrassment to the program.
Issues keep popping up; some followed him from West Virginia to Ann Arbor.

Now it’s the NCAA problem and the is reporting he is being sued for defaulting on a real-estate deal loan to build high-end condominiums near Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium.

Of course, Rodriguez claims he is being scammed.

The only people getting scammed are the folks who hired Rodriguez in the first place!
I get it Rich; everyone is picking on you.

That was evident from the tearful press conference Monday afternoon to deny the latest charges against him and the Michigan program.

Now in Michigan’s defense, I find the allegations ridiculous. Every major college sports program exceeds the limitations on the number of hours they can spend with their athletes.

The NCAA rules are written rather poorly on this topic.

But what I do find interesting is that players are blowing the whistle on Rodriguez, not lining up to defend him, although they are now saying they were misquoted.

I will be interested to find out what the investigation finds out. But it’s just another hit on a program that really cannot afford any more.

Cut your losses Wolverine faithful. Call for his ouster immediately before you have to suffer through another woeful season and more embarrassment down the road.

What is the real cost of getting rid of Rodriguez? – Priceless!

Scott Novak is sports editor of Leader Publications. He can be reached at or by phone at 687-7702.  Follow me on my daily blog:

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