I’ve maintained all along that the money involved in Rodriguez’s contract isn’t driving Michigan’s timeline for a decision.  I think it was Mike Rosenberg who first pointed out that if Brandon decided to terminate RR and waits until January 1 to formally make that change, Michigan owes Rodriguez $1.5 fewer bucks. 

Article 3.01(b) defines the contract years:

contract years

Article 4.01(a) defines the amount U-M must pay Rodriguez if he’s terminated without cause and note the drop in contract year four starting January 1, 2011. 

termination amounts

However, these terms require Michigan to provide 30 days written notice of the termination:

30 days

Practically speaking if Brandon fires Rodriguez next week, Rich Rod is not going to hang around for 30 days.  But it appears as though the contractual time table on the termination will stretch into January, providing another reason why the $1.5 million “savings” question doesn’t hold water. 

All this said and even without this 30 day notice clause, these matters are negotiated.  Michigan could argue the NCAA violations provide an out “with cause”.  If the NCAA finds wrong-doing by Rodriguez at WVU Michigan, per the contract, could again argue termination with cause.  Above and beyond all this, there are other legal matters and requests by Michigan that will certainly be in play.  Finally, Brandon’s not going to let $1.5 million drive the decision on the future of the program.  There will be a negotiation and a settlement either way.

Bowl Bucks.  One more little nugget, Rodriguez will get a $50K pop (versus the Insight) if Michigan gets a bid to the Gator later today:

bowl comp


  1. I though the buyout was $0 due to major NCAA violations.

  2. I think refusing to pay the buyout could be successfully challenged in court since Brandon said explicitly that the violations were NOT grounds for termination. He might not have signed anything to that effect, but he stated it quite clearly. Rodriguez would have a pretty good case to reclaim the buyout. Then Michigan would be out $2.5 million or $ million plus legal fees.

    If we fire Rodriguez, he’s getting something.

    • Greg from MVictors

      I agree. They might have better luck with the WVU findings (the clause isn't limited to Michigan) but again, it's all getting negotiated no matter what happens.

  3. Indeed, the University would find it tough sledding to terminate for cause in relation to anything that occurred while at Michigan after cooperating fully in an NCAA investigation where they asserted throughout that he was not at fault for the situation and the NCAA agreed.

  4. I think they probably still save the money by waiting until Jan to notify. They just give 30 days notice at that point. There's nothing to say they cant hire his replacement the next (or even same) day and have an overlapping "transition period." If RR wants to bolt immediately, that is his perogative, but then he waives his right to contest. Organizations do that type of thing all of the time and this situation shouldn't be any different, legally.

    • In re-reading the post, my thought is based on the assumption that giving notice before Jan constitutes the act of firing, which is why waiting still makes sense. Can't say that I know for sure either way.

      Or – maybe this is another point in favor of the conspiracy theorists being right that RR already knows and has a gag order and has to continue to fulfill his obligations until the gig is up? Extremely doubtful…

      • Greg from MVictors

        "my thought is based on the assumption that giving notice before Jan constitutes the act of firing, which is why waiting still makes sense. Can't say that I know for sure either way. "

        I'm not a lawyer but the language seems pretty clear. The table in 4.01a on the contract period reads, 'If Rodriguez's contract is terminated during". The 30 day clause reads, "(30) days' advance written notice of the termination.."

  5. IF Brandon was to fire RR after Jan 1, whats to stop RR from sitting in the Fort for 30 days, and not letting any new staff in..

    • Greg from MVictors

      His contract doesn't give him a specific desk or authority over comings and goings at Schembechler Hall (although that would be cool)

  6. u know what yawl worry reputation of the football program because of what RR. RR have done everything to get this football team winning again. And this what u give back to him nothing just a contract of how many if DB decide to fire him. I think he wont do it because this what he about to lose if u fired him u lose that offense and defense completely and what about the recuit that he getting in rite now. Yawl two good running back out of that recuit class. For what 3 years two of those no bowl losing record and this year a winning record and bowl what the hell is wrong with u ppl, yawl worry about the it reputation of how good the football program was in late 80s abd 90s . it football some team can win almost every year i think RR going to stay .