So Bill Martin and Rodriguez got together and ponied up the $4 million. Reaction was mixed on the radio this today, ranging from a few holier-than-thou callers on WTKA 1050AM asking the proverbial “how do you explain this to your son?” rabble, and to Stoney and Wojo, who touched on the settlement but rolled that into a discussion on Michigan relative to Michigan State football.
For Rodriguez, I never had any issue with him challenging the $4M. It was a contract. Written by lawyers from both sides with terms to be upheld by both sides. It’s natural that there would be some attempt to settle it. And it’s not the money; it’s the amount.
After hearing some of the statements from his lawyer- – I half-jokingly offered that Rodriguez should just pony up. Remember this?:
“It’s like back before the Civil War when slaves had the right to buy their freedom,” said Marv Robon, one of Rodriguez’s lawyers. ” A penalty of $4 million is almost like a slave from Africa trying to buy his freedom in America.”
When you subject yourself to this scrutiny bad stuff can happen, especially when you have a legal team that makes statements like the above. With word that Martin and president Coleman would possibly be deposed I wonder if they were afraid of the same thing.
My take on this: no one really cares about the money, and Rodriguez will be judged by what happens with his team (on and off the field). The only way I can see this blowing up is Coleman and Martin had something to hide, and someone can figure out a way to get them back in court to hear their statements. That won’t happen.
The only beef I can see from Michigan fans is that we, in essence, paid for this. Yes, the athletic department has a surplus this year but a big reason for that is all the required donations, tickets and concessions we pay for. You’re paying for this. But again, I think fans understand that a change was needed/required, and this is part of the deal.