"I'm going to repeat myself as clear as I can - I'm planning on being the coach at West Virginia for the rest of my career, if they'll have me. That's what I'm planning on doing. I don't plan on calling and talking to anybody this week, I don't plan on talking to anybody next week. I don't plan on doing anything but what I can for West Virginia football. That's the end of the story. That's it."---Rich Rodriguez 12/1/06...
After Rodriguez's representatives negotiated with Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore for most of today, Rodriguez has told Alabama officials he is ready to take the job offer he received this morning.
Sources close to the search said Rodriguez will make over $2 million per year with incentives and will have one of the highest-paid coaching staffs in the Southeastern Conference.
After two weeks of searching for a replacement for coach Mike Shula, who was fired Nov. 26, the only aspect of the process left is for Rodriguez to tell his team he is leaving his home state and alma mater.
Alabama officials are confident Rodriguez will sign his deal Friday morning, sources said, because the two sides have agreed on all economic and non economic issues.
Rodriguez followed his scheduled plans for today, even attending a news conference to publicize the Gator Bowl, which features the Mountaineers (10-2) vs. Georgia Tech (9-4) on Jan. 1 in Jacksonville. A source has told The News that Gator Bowl officials have been warned not to expect Rodriguez to coach in the game.
During today's Gator Bowl news conference, he limited questions to the bowl game and to West Virginia, but would not guarantee he would coach the Mountaineers in the bowl game.
No official word yet, but Scout reported Thursday night that Rodriguez would not coach the Mountaineers in the Gator Bowl against Georgia Tech.
This sucks for WVU fans, but in all honesty would you rather have Rodriguez leave, or Slaton and White? Some lucky coach is going to inherit a team with two Heisman Trophy candidates meaning he's virtually assured of 10 wins in his first year.
Hope that extra money is worth making yourself and your family the target for every every football obsessed lunatic with a double-digit IQ in The Heart of Dixie. Seriously, this is like ditching the U.S. Military and choosing to lead the Kenyans into battle against the Chinese because Mwai Kibaki set you up in a nicer house.
So now we suppose the search begins for the newest big name in Big East football. We hear John L. Smith is available.
Enjoy the death threats
UPDATE: The 1:00 a.m. Sportscenter confirms that Rodriguez has taken the Alabama job.
UPDATE 2: (1:42 a.m.) Dave Hickman of the Charleston Gazette reports that Rodriguez hasn't agreed to anything yet.
UPDATE 3: Steve Slaton and Pat White just busted into a town meeting in Morgantown and shocked the city by remarking: "We play, coach Rod stays. He goes, we go."