Michigan AD denies firing

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Michigan AD Dave Brandon denies that he has fired football coach Rich Rodriguez. (Daily Star photo/File)

ANN ARBOR — The tenure of Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez had appeared to have come to and end Tuesday.

Television station Fox 2 in Detroit broke the story earlier this afternoon that according to a pair of Michigan sources, Rodriguez was fired today.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon through a University of Michigan release said that no such decision has been made.

He was scheduled to meet with Rodriguez for his end-of-season review Tuesday afternoon. A team meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday. That meeting was postponed until Wednesday afternoon.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, along with ESPN, were also reporting that Michigan has terminated Rodriguez by midday.

ESPN also reported that Brandon and Rodriguez met at the AD’s home for several hours on Tuesday and were scheduled to meet again today.

The Wolverines were 15-22 and 6-18 in the Big Ten during Rodriguez’s three seasons in Ann Arbor. The 2010 season ended on New Year’s Day with an embarrassing 52-14 loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.

Rodriguez was also 0-3 against both Michigan State and Ohio State.

He signed a six-year, $15 million contract to replace the retiring Lloyd Carr in 2007. By waiting until after Jan. 1 to dismiss Rodriguez, Michigan will only have to pay $2.5 million to buyout the final three years of his contract.

Michigan fans have been vocal in wanting former Wolverine quarterback and current Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh to be the one to replace Rodriguez. However, reports following Standford’s 40-12 win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl have Harbaugh uninterested in returning to his alma mater.

Other possibilities include former Michigan assistant and current San Diego State coach Brad Hoke and former Michigan assistant and current LSU coach Les Miles, who was reportedly the next Wolverines coach before the school hired Rodriguez instead.