In the wake of John Bacon’s Michigan Today article, and my post [Rodriguez of the Midway] noting that RichRod was actually born in Chicago, a few admins at Wikipedia are at odds whether to change the birth place on the coach’s page. It still lists Grant Town, WV as of the writing of this post [12/1/08].

Someone linked to MVictors from one of the open Wikipedia Talk pages, which I gather is like a forum for Wikipedistrators to discuss entries on the open source encyclopedia site, and in particular, to build consensus on things like format, sources and general content.

The debate over the Chicago birth “news” thanks to Bacon is pretty heated, you can read the whole thing here, pan down to the Born in Chicago? heading about 1 page down. The Wikipediphites are debating the credibility of Bacon, of his interview, of whether this is enough to make the change in the entry and more. A few selections pulled out from the debate:

From user ‘MichiganCharms’: “The article from MichiganToday, while it contains a few errors, is written by John Bacon who is a noted author and a reliable source. But aside from that, Rodriguez himself is the one talking about moving to West Virginia”

From user ‘Jnpmd’: “Did you actually witness this interview? Just because it has quote marks doesn’t make it credible. I find the No Honeymoon article very suspect, it is full of incorrect information. I also find it odd that the AP, the University of Michigan’s profile of Rodriguez when he was hired, West Virginia University’s profile, the Detroit Free Press and ESPN would all say that his birthplace is Grant Town.”

From user ‘MichiganCharms’: “Like I said, John Bacon is a credible source. There are two major errors in the article, not exactly enough to call out the credibility of a best selling author who has been writing a feature on the team. Provide me one credible source where Rodriguez himself states he was born in Grant Town.”

From user ‘Cmichael’ [who’s a WVU fan, FWIW]: “…Rich is not well known for accurate recollection of the facts. I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of where Rod was born, but I certainly can’t see any reason at all to consider this article to be a credible source.”

From user ‘UMgoBlue’: If you go to the TSE Sports and Entertainment website [link added by me], you can review Rich Rodriguez’s biography when booking him for a speaking engagement or public appearance. According to his biography, he was born and raised in West Virginia. It also states his place of birth as Grant Town, WV. I agree that sometimes people state they are from a state, even when they were born in another place. However, Rodriguez has often referred to himself as a native West Virginian. The word “native” implies he was born in West Virginia.

From user ‘MichiganCharms’ who backs down: “I personally don’t care, if we have consensus let’s change it. If other sources change to match Rich’s account, we can change it then. Grant Town it is.”

Someone then claims to have a Michigan football program listing Chicago as birthplace and also links to MVictors.com, a rock of journalistic credibility. It prompts this response from our man user Cmichael: “Wikipedia isn’t about truth. It’s about verifiability. The mvictors.com link just refers back to the original University of Michigan link. The game program is also a publication of the University of Michigan. We need to hear it from an unbiased, critically edited source. Publications of the University of Michigan, and articles that point directly back to those publications, all are likely to be of common origin.”

From user ‘MichiganCharms’“Honestly, there are going to be so many West Virginia fans swarming over this that I question whether or not it’s even worth it. But, the MVictors article does give me cause to challange [sic] the source being used for him being born in Grant Town. Provide one that firmly says he was born there”

Interesting stuff. All my money is on Bacon on Rich Rod and his parents especially his mom. As a sidenote, that site with info on booking RichRod for speaking gigs includes this:

Rich Rodriguez Endorsement
Just about the only Rich Rodriguez endorsement that might not work is one for a product related to Ohio State, seeing as how the Buckeyes are the biggest rivals of the Wolverines.

Might want to add WVU to that list, chiefs.

2 Comments

  1. MV…you have stirred up another hornets nest. I wonder if RR always claimed he was Grant Town's "native son" to help further endear him to WVU and when that was no longer necessary he shot straight with JUB.

    I would love to know what Rick Heim thinks of this conundrum……

  2. Greg from MVictors

    I'm not sure there's much here in the way of hornets nests. It sounds like he and his parents openly told Bacon of his birthplace (including a few details of a hurried return for Mr. Rodriguez back to WV). Most people read "native" and perhaps took that for birthplace (I did). Bill Martin, when he introduced Rodriguez, used the term 'native' not 'born in' when mentioning Grant Town (and it being 5 miles from Fairview where Yost was born). Maybe he's said this to endear himself to Mountaineer fans, who knows.

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