13. October 2009 · Comments Off on Hello, Angelique (WTKA audio) · Categories: Archive 2009, Coach Rod, Media, Non Conference

The great Angelique Chengelis joined Ira and Sam today on WTKA’s Michigan Insider to talk concussions, Hawkeyes, substitutions, Denard, the media getting the boot from practice (and her understanding of “the rules”) and the Delaware State campus:


Full podcast and all of the Insider podcasts here.

John Heuser’s piece in the Ann Arbor News, discussing this week that Rich Rodriguez’s compensation tallied up to $6.6M, was thoroughly blasted in the blogosphere– see Brian Cook’s posts on mgoblog and AOL, and the gang at Wolverine Liberation Army.

Heuser was defended by his former colleague Jim Carty on his blog. JC called it a “meaty little story” and after acknowledging Brian Cook’s greatness took a few shots across the virtual bow.

If you read this site regularly you might recall my October 2008 interview with Dave Shand where he reveals the scuttlebutt that Michigan was going to pay the taxes on the buy-out:

Shand:…So it cost Michigan, they say $2.5 million. But I’ve heard, through back sources, that Rich Rodriguez did not realize that the $2.5 million that Michigan is paying on his behalf is taxable, so Rodriquez is going to have to pay taxes on that. Plus there’s the million and a half out of his own pocket.

That was indeed scuttlebutt at the time, but then a couple weeks later Rodriguez’s contract was FOIA’d and the terms of the buy-out were revealed. Those terms included the language on the tax neutralization [from my post on October 27, 2008]:

Thanks to the contract being available via FOIA, we know that this is true (here’s the full contract), see section 3.02, part (g):

So I, maybe you, knew this was going down. Carty suggests in the comments thread on his site that this October post was news and deserved some credit, but that the specifics revealed by Heuser make this news. Says JC:

See the difference – $4.1 million versus the initially reported $2.5 million?
That’s reporting. New reporting. Actual numbers and stuff. Journalism.

That’s fair, I agree the numbers and the terms matter and are interesting, but I also see the point of a few commenters on mlive and Paper Tiger who basically say that any dope with a calculator could have figured this out. Maybe so.

I was able to find a dope with a calculator and it confirms that last little detail that Shand mentioned when discussing the taxes, (“Plus there’s the million and a half out of his own pocket”). I’m pretty confident Michigan paid the taxes on the entire $4M, not just U-M’s portion. Heuser didn’t break out the detail of how we arrived at $6.6M and I think Carty may have missed this, he writes: “Now – thanks to the FOIA – we see that Michigan also stepped up and paid the taxes on the $2.5 million, which brings the total compensation number to $4.1 million.”

To the dope, calculated assuming Michigan compensated Rich Rod for the tax burden of the full $4M:

This assumes the highest tax brackets of course, and it assumes he had to pay for 12 months in West Virginia. If he claimed one month residence in Michigan these figures would be reduced to $6.65 or so. I don’t if the final figure reported was exactly $6.60M, but it makes sense that Michigan would cover Rodriguez at something under that full tax rate after factoring for various deductions.

Update: Yes, I hath understanding and I reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, and its number is six hundred and sixty-six (not six million six hundred and sixty thousand).

Jim Carty Interview – Three Parts
Dave Shand Interview – Four Parts

05. January 2009 · Comments Off on Bacon Interviews Rodriguez on Inaugural Big Show (audio) · Categories: Archive 2008, Coach Rod, WTKA 1050AM

Local author, professor and Michigan athletics historian John U. Bacon launched his new radio program this afternoon on WTKA’s ‘Big Show’. As announced a few weeks ago, Bacs will take the Monday 3-6pm slot on the live local program which rotates hosts throughout the week.

He started off with a bang as just a few minutes after taking the air he had Coach Rich Rodriguez on the line. They discussed the rigors of recruiting, how the internet has changed recruiting, on “derecruiting” (getting players adjusted to school and the football program after they’ve been fawned over for years), on the reception he got at Crisler during the Illinois hoops game, on the search for the defensive coordinator (nothing new, although he admitted a factor was the NFL playoffs) and on the defensive scheme he’s looking for, and more. Enjoy:

A couple notes:
* I got a chuckle when he and Bacon joked about how coaches rave over the food served the families of recruits. Rodriguez said jokingly, “the tea tastes sweeter”, which is a reference to southern-style iced tea, also called sweet tea (prounounced swate tay) due to (duh) it being loaded with sugar. You’d be hard pressed to find a recruit’s moms serving sweet tea anywhere in these parts anytime but especially this time of year. I’m not sure I’d have any idea what he was talking about if I hadn’t lived in Washington, DC and southern Virginia for a stint. It also touches on one of the criticisms of Rich Rodriguez, that he’s abandoned the Michigan base of recruiting. This of course seems silly in the wake of the commitment of #1 recruit in the state, but so it goes.

* Bacon noted he’s going to write a piece that’ll describe the experience of going through an extensive workout S&C coordinator Mike Barwis. Oh, and as Bacon notes, he’ll be the guinea pig for the article, actually going through the paces with Barwis. Rodriguez told him to bring extra Tylenol. Word.

Bo's Lasting Lessons

04. January 2009 · Comments Off on Beautiful Hoops; M downs Illini 74-64 · Categories: Archive 2009, Coach Beilein, Coach Rod, Hoops

What a classic basketball game today as Beilein and hoops recover from the tough Wisconsin loss to get their first conference win, 74-64 over Illinois. It certainly wasn’t a must win, but losing the first two Big Ten games at home would have caused a bit of a shiver.

On hand for the game was once again coaches Carr and Rodriguez, each with their wives. BTN color man and Buckeye Jimmy Jackson couldn’t help but admit that he was sorry that Lloyd Carr hung up his whistle, saying as a Buck, Carr was his favorite coach. Some forget that Carr crushed the Buckeyes early in his coaching career and despite the struggles against Tressel was 6-7 lifetime. But he certainly finished on a down note and Jackson’s comment would be excusable if Carr and his wife Laurie weren’t sitting right next to him on the end of the press table. Come on man.

But I thought Jackson did a good job for BTN and today, and man, was he awesome at Ohio State. When they panned over to Fab Fiver Jimmy King chilling in the tunnel JJ talked about some of their battles (Ohio State won two during the regular season with Michigan winning in the NCAA tournament). I was at the game at Crisler his senior year and Jackson was unbelievable. Here’s a shot of King looking fresh with his tight beard:

Fab Five Jimmy King

29. November 2008 · Comments Off on Coach Rich Rodriguez: Born in Chicago, IL · Categories: Archive 2008, Coach Rod, Media

John U. Bacon’s fine piece on Rich Rodriguez published in Michigan Today included this:

Rodriguez’s grandfather left Spain for the coal mines of West Virginia. Looking for a better life, the family moved to Chicago, where Rich was born.

This prompted a few folks to contact Michigan Today and the author to dispute this, citing sources that claim Rich Rodriguez was actually born in Grant Town, West Virginia. Bacon wrote a response to those folks, here’s a portion:

No matter how many sources list Grant Town as Rich Rodriguez’s place of birth, he was born in Chicago, and raised there until the middle of second grade. (I’ll take his mom’s word on that.) His family did leave their home late at night, and suddenly, and, as the article says, Rodriguez had not heard of West Virginia until they were leaving for the state that night.

Further, the article was accurate in stating that Rodriguez did not visit the campus of West Virginia University until he first arrived there as a freshmen [sic]. In fact, Rodriguez had never seen a Division I football game in person until he was a player on the sidelines for his first game at West Virginia.

Whether readers choose to believe Coach Rodriguez is, of course, entirely up to them, but I can see no reasonable grounds for doubting him on these points. All have come from extensive interviews with Coach Rodriguez, and have been confirmed by other sources, including his parents.

Regretfully this site may have been one of those bogus sources, I’m not sure. When Rodriguez was hired I specifically searched for his birthplace to see if it was anywhere near where Fielding Yost was born. I may have found it on Wikipedia which still lists Grant Town as his birthplace today. Yes, shame on me for using Wikipedia but a lot of other places make the same mistake, here’s the Free Press. The footnote source for this information on Wikipedia is a U-M San Francisco website that actually doesn’t say Rich Rod was born in Grant Town, just that he was native to this city.

For whatever reason in most official bios Rodriguez doesn’t list a birthplace simply says he’s a native for Grant Town. Here’s the Clemson bio (check out his hair); here’s the mgoblue.com bio, “A native of Grant Town, W.Va.”

The “middle of second grade” is a pretty significant time, I mean, I have many memories of life up until second grade. He spent a good stint of his early life in the Midwest. For whatever reason it appears as though Rodriguez doesn’t really want that period of his life highlighted in his bio.

11. November 2008 · Comments Off on Paging Doctor Rodriguez · Categories: Archive 2008, Coach Rod, Jokes, Media · Tags: , , , , ,

Letters continue to steam into the Ann Arbor News. I scanned the paper today and the News dropped the Rodriguez missives in their own little section. This gem from writer Leslie landed inside ‘FOCUS: U-M FOOTBALL’ on the Opinion page:

Ann Arbor News 11.10.07

As if Rodriguez doesn’t have enough people coming after him for what’s he’s actually paid to do. Leslie couldn’t resist herself and dropped the old coaching-salaries-are-out-of-control anvil.

Yes, the sales of Twizzlers at Saturday’s game could fund a ballet troupe for three decades–we got ya Leslie. Indeed there are more important things in the world than football. But guess what–There’s a reason why 110,000 people pack into Michigan stadium each week and millions more watch on TV. We need an escape, sister, so lay off the U. and Rodriguez & fly right.

The original Little Brown Jug, photo from Minnesota
The original Little Brown (White?) Jug, from Historic Michigan Football Photos.

Surely Coach Rod has a lot on his mind and the history of the Little Brown Jug is likely not one of those things. Just after the hire last December I wrote the following:

Count me as a one who will be disappointed if during his Monday press conference on November 3, 2008, Coach Rodriguez fails to recount the history of the Little Brown Jug, as Coach Carr did each year during his tenure

Here’s to hoping we’ll get some mention of the Jug today.

Update: Here’s today’s press conference broken down into clips thanks to MLive. Mention of the jug? Yes but barely. Rodriguez mentioned the jug as something that they have to play for this week and said that it’s “neat”. It’s really NEAT man!:

Video: “11/3 Monday Press Conference Rich Rodriguez from MLive”