From my Boyz at The Brushback….
West Virginia gets permission to talk to Rich Rodriguez for coaching vacancy…
MORGANTOWN, WV–According to an Associated Press report, the West Virginia Mountaineers have received permission to talk to Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez about their head coaching vacancy.
Athletic director Ed Pastilong said today that Rodriguez was at the top of the list of possible replacements for Rodriguez.
“Obviously Rich is one of our top choices,” Pastilong said. “He’s an excellent coach and any team would be lucky to have him. Talks are in the preliminary stages, but I think the notion of returning home to his roots will really appeal to him. That and the assload of money we’re going to offer him.”
If negotiations with Rodriguez fail, Pastilong still has a long list of worthy candidates to interview.
“Of course we have a contingency plan if things don’t work out with Rich,” he said. “We have plans to talk to Greg Schiano, Les Miles, Urban Meyer, and several other Division I coaches. It’s just a shame that whoever we hire will eventually end up leaving for a better offer. They should make these guys sign some kind of binding agreement that would prevent them from doing that.”
Rodriguez, a West Virginia native, coached the Mountaineers for seven seasons before agreeing to terms with Michigan over the weekend. He called it one of the most difficult decisions he’s ever made. Now he’s facing another difficult decision.
Michigan AD Bill Martin, however, remains confident that Rodriguez will choose to stay in Ann Arbor.
“Coach Rodriguez has assured me that he plans to be the coach of Michigan next season,” said Martin. “I mean, come on, he just started here like two days ago. He’s not going to up and leave, no matter how much money they offer him. Excuse me? How much money are they planning to offer him? Oh my God. Do they need a new athletic director, too?”
When reached for comment about his interest in the West Virginia job, Rodriguez had little to say.
“I am the coach of the Michigan Wolverines and I am very happy to be here,” Rodriguez said, when reached by phone. “I really have nothing more to say about the matter. Right now my focus is on recruiting and preparing this team for next season. Once again, I am very happy to be the coach of the Michigan Wolverines. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go fly to Morgantown. I, um…left my wallet there.”
Sources close to Rodriguez believe the coach is leaning toward returning to Morgantown.
“I think he really wants to go to West Virginia,” said one source, who asked not to be identified. “The opportunity to return to his home state and coach his beloved Mountaineers really appeals to him. I would expect him to sign a deal and come to an agreement sometime in the next day or two, then stay in West Virginia for the duration of his career. Of course there’s always a chance that Michigan will come knocking three or four years down the road, in which case he’d have to accept. That’s his alma mater you know.”
Tebow thanks teammates for staying the hell out of the way..
NEW YORK– Florida quarterback Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy and Saturday night and gave an emotional speech thanking his family and repeating the line “I love being a Gator.” Towards the end, he also delivered a special thanks to his teammates for staying the hell out of his way this year.
“I always said that this is team award,” said Tebow. “And I couldn’t have done this without the help of my teammates. Without them staying the hell out of my way, week in and week out, something might have happened to derail my candidacy. But no, they relaxed and let me win the games. They didn’t try to be heroes. And that’s why I share this award with them.”
Tebow also praised the coaching staff for putting his teammates in a position not to do anything stupid.
“Our coaches are real good at putting guys in the right position,” Tebow said. “And the right position is usually out of my way. If we weren’t required to have eleven guys out there I’d just as soon be by myself. But if I have to a group of guys watching me win games, I wouldn’t pick anyone other than this group of guys right here.”
Tebow, the first sophomore to ever win the Heisman, possesses a rare combination of size, speed, and accuracy. For the season, he leads his team with 838 rushing yards. The next best total belongs to wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has 599.
Harvin said he was honored to help Tebow win the Heisman.
“Tim is a great quarterback and I’m just proud to be a part of this,” said Harvin. “I definitely feel like I played a small part in helping him win it. I’ll never forget that one play during the Georgia game when he was running a QB draw and I was standing between him and the end zone and he was like ‘Move!’ and I leapt into the air, fully extended, and landed a few yards away, providing him enough of a crease to slide into the end zone. To me that epitomized our whole season. I only hope some NFL scouts were watching.”
With a Heisman under his belt, the focus now turns to Tebow’s future. Will he play four years at the University of Florida or will he bolt to the NFL after his junior year? That all depends, says Tebow, on the progress of the team.
“We’ll see what kind of shape the team is in,” he said. “If we win a title next season I’ll be able to go to the NFL knowing I finished what I started here. If not, maybe I’ll come back again. All I know is that I won’t take the decision lately. I don’t want to become some sad sack failure like Matt Leinart.”