Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, December 3, 2010

ESPN.com ~ Rich Rodriguez gets emotional at U-M banquet

From Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com. And I agree that Dave Brandon could not have been too happy with this at the football banquet…

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It was an uplifting, interesting, awkward and potentially embarrassing night at the annual Michigan football banquet, depending on whom you ask.

The uncertainty surrounding coach Rich Rodriguez's job security was palpable Thursday as Rodriguez delivered an emotional speech. Rodriguez talked about the stress he and his family have been placed under because of the speculation and how he takes inspiration from Josh Groban's song, "You raise me up."

Rodriguez, fighting back tears, even recited lyrics from the song and played it for the crowd.

"It may seem kind of cheesy, sappy, what have you," Rodriguez said. "I've been listening to it the last couple of weeks and kind of gets the mood we're in right now."


Annarbor.com's Pete Bigelow set the scene:

As the song concluded, Rodriguez grabbed the hands of his wife, Rita, and the night's emcee, Frank Beckmann, and raised them above his head. Several seconds passed before others on the dais, including [athletic director Dave] Brandon and the entire Wolverines team, followed suit.


Rodriguez also cited the Bible in his speech to talk about the faith he had in the program.

"I came here three years ago, leaving my comfort zone, because I thought this was a great opportunity," he said. "I knew after being on the job for a few months there were going to be some challenges. And more come out in front of us. We never ran away from it. It's going to happen, and it's going to happen in a big way. I wish it happened yesterday, last year, the first year. Believe me, my life would be a lot easier."


Rodriguez, who choked up during his address, ended things with: "My name is Rich Rodriguez. I'm honored to be the football coach at Michigan. I hope you realize I want to be a Michigan man."

And I thought Jim Harbaugh not showing up to the banquet would prevent awkward moments.

Wow.

Rich Rodriguez, three years into his tenure, shouldn't have to be saying things like, "I hope you realize I want to be a Michigan man." His emotions were genuine Thursday night, and while he's trying to fire up his constituency, you have to question his confidence right now.

Does Rodriguez sound emboldened or desperate? Or a little bit of both?

He needs his boss, Dave Brandon, to make a decision on whether or not he'll return in 2011. Letting this drag on until after Michigan's bowl game doesn't serve the current players, the coaches, the verbally committed recruits or the fans.

I wasn't there tonight, but I can't imagine Brandon came away thrilled by what he saw and heard from his head coach.

Michigan simply shouldn't have to endure another month of this.

If Brandon wants to fire Rodriguez, do it and let him pursue other options like the Miami job, where he'd be an absolutely fantastic fit. If he wants to keep Rodriguez for another year, make the announcement and deal with the assistants later.

Forget saving money or being courteous to potential replacement candidates like Harbaugh. This is Michigan. This is big-boy football. This is the time when major decisions are made.

If protecting the Michigan brand is paramount, as Brandon always says, he needs to step up and settle things.



"It may seem kind of cheesy, sappy, what have you," Rodriguez said. "I've been listening to it the last couple of weeks and kind of gets the mood we're in right now."

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101202/SPORTS0201/12020495/Emotional-Rodriguez-brings-crowd-to-its-feet-at-U-M-banquet#ixzz171ZKOCJl



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