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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The latest on the fatwa. Rodriguez's agent has some responses:

The report has “a lot of misinformation and untruthful statements,” Brown said.

Brown denied Rodriguez kept a personal file on each player and that a strength coordinator took photos of them. Every time players were tested, he added, “those records were given to the head coach and every assistant coach.”

That means current head coach Bill Stewart should have copies.

“Regarding the class attendance records, I sure hope that West Virginia’s compliance and academic office keeps those records because if they don’t, they have serious institutional control problems,” he said.

Brown said the university also should have any records involving the finances of the summer camps it ran.

He declined to answer questions about whether Rodriguez removed or destroyed documents.

Another quote, this one from an AANews article (all the articles about his agent's press conference or whatever have slightly different versions of the quotes, but no one has provided the entire thing verbatim -- frustrating):
"As any employee leaving a job, he's going to throw stuff in the trash," Brown said. "Personal information, personal letters from other coaches, his own game plans. Things like that he wanted to throw away, and at the same time didn't need to be found in the dumpster."
A dossier of the things Rodriguez is accused of shredding and their status:

Contact infoNo mentionLudicrous. Look them up in the U directory. Or join Facebook.
Scholarship money awardedNo mention.Even more ludicrous. WVU has no records of scholarship money distributed to their players save those on hardcopy in Rich Rodriguez's office?N/A
Class attendance recordsSarcastic mention of compliance issues.Similarly ludicrous. Unless Rodriguez and Rodriguez alone checked in on class attendance, someone else has these records, and if they don't the NCAA should pay WVU a nasty visit.N/A
Personal conduct & community serviceRefuted.Not completely ludicrous, but it's still pretty doubtful that Rodriguez has the only copies of various things the players did, good or bad. Brown:
"Rich never kept any players' personal files," Brown said, adding that the computers in the coach's office and at a secretary's desk at the Puskar Center kept many of the same files.
Would be sketchy, if Rodriguez knew he had the only copies.
Summer Camp financialsRefuted.Right, Rodriguez has an apache box with Drupal on it and runs an online store that completely covers his summer camp financials. Ludicrous.N/A
Booster dataNo mention.Right, WVU has no records of who gave the AD money. Ken Kendrick has to buy endzone tickets.N/A
S&C filesSaid that all assistants got copies and Stewart should have them.A plausible thing for only Barwis to have the nitty-gritty details of; directly contradicted by Brown, who also denied any pictures, sexy or otherwise, were taken.If the agent's version of the story is true Rodriguez was well within the bounds of reason to shred his copies.
Recruiting infoNo mentionTotally plausible.Possibly sketchy.

This is a tempest in a teapot at worst. Of the recruits who decommited from WVU, one (Josh Jenkins) is visiting WVU, so they must have figured out his phone number again, and two (Taylor Hill and DJ Woods) are likely going to sign with Rodriguez and weren't going to go to WVU anyway without his presence.

MVictors got in touch with his local law-talking guy, who had this to say:
Coach Rod is certainly allowed to destroy his own personal stuff, but what exactly did he destroy and who owns it? From another related legal angle, there are intellectual property laws that come into play in the employment setting — i.e., whether the records he creates in connection with his employment are the property of his employer.

You might have had to sign an “inventions assignment” agreement (sometimes called a proprietary rights agreement) in your field, and many companies make that a standard part of their employee handbook and hiring practices.
More at MVictors; the upshot is skeptical.

Tick tock, you don't stop. A source indicates that WVU has been badgering the NCAA about potential violations committed by Rodriguez from the moment he accepted the Michigan job. Foremost among these is the infamous call to Terrelle Pryor before Rodriguez had been officially hired; there are supposedly like incidents. How WVU would ever prove Rodriguez said anything other than "Recruit X, I am going to be the head coach at Michigan," I don't know, but hell hath no fury like a West Fin' Jihadist.

Furthermore, WVU is attempting to insinuate to the NCAA that the shredded documents contained evidence of major violations committed by Rodriguez which the WVU athletic department of course knew nothing about. Yes, they are essentially saying "we have no idea whatsoever was on those documents, but we're pretty sure they were large huge big NCAA violations."

The comparison to end all comparisons. I may have to enter the blogger protection program after this, but... I swear to God this is exactly like that episode of "A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila." You know, the one in which the lovable but functionally retarded* West Virginian gets booted by the hot property, then proceeds to lose his shit in spectacular fashion, leaving everyone feeling dirty in the aftermath? You know, this one?

Yeah. This reminds me of that.

*(not meant to impugn the entire state, just the WVU athletic department.)