West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez met with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin on Friday to talk about the Wolverines' coaching job, according to media reports.
Rodriguez and his agent were in Toledo to talk with Martin and university president Mary Sue
Coleman, according to Sporting News Radio, which cited unidentifed sources.
The meeting was confirmed to ESPN's Joe Schad on Friday afternoon by a source close to the situation.
Rodriguez, 44, was
back in Morgantown on Friday after taking a flight from Ohio, and
unwilling to talk about any possible interest in the Michigan job.
"Going to practice. I'm going to practice," he told The Associated Press on Friday,
getting into his car after a trip to Toledo.
again refused to discuss Michigan's vacant coaching job on
At the opening of a previously scheduled news conference about
West Virginia's trip to the Fiesta Bowl, Rodriguez said he
would only talk about the game against Oklahoma (No. 4 BCS, No. 3 AP).
"It may be disappointing to you, but I am not going to talk
about any rumors or innuendo or jobs or what else is floating out
there," Rodriguez said.
"I'm not going to address the rumors or anything of that
nature," Rodriguez said. "If any questions are asked about that,
the press conference will be over."
The questions about Michigan persisted, and Rodriguez fired
"You all have not understood what I just said. One more
question and this conference, unfortunately, and you all have been
super, but if the questions persist outside of that then this thing
will be over," he said.
A reporter then asked whether Rodriguez would coach the team in
the Fiesta Bowl.
"You're a tricky guy," Rodriguez said.
Some players indicated Rodriguez hadn't spoken to them about
Michigan and that they were under orders to keep quiet.
"I'm not supposed to talk about that. I'm sorry," offensive
lineman Ryan Stanchek said Saturday.
West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong spoke with
Rodriguez on Saturday.
"We talked about general issues within the football program,"
Pastilong told The Charleston Gazette, declining to be more
Pastilong, who didn't immediately return a telephone message to The Associated Press, told the newspaper "we'll know something
very fast" in regard to Rodriguez's decision.
Michigan, which lured basketball coach John Beilein away from
West Virginia last April, is looking for a replacement for football
coach Lloyd Carr, who announced his retirement Nov. 19 after 13
Pastilong said he was unaware
Rodriguez, who has a hefty buyout clause in his contract, was in
"He has not shared that with me," Pastilong told The
Pastilong would not say whether West Virginia had given Michigan
permission to talk to Rodriguez, citing university policy.
When asked further whether he knew Rodriguez was talking to
Michigan, Pastilong said, "Rich has not mentioned anything of that
nature to me. Secondly, we have a strong commitment with Rich, a
strong contract. We're strongly committed to him and he's strongly
committed to us.
"I think it would be unusual that he would be doing that
without sharing it with us."
Michigan athletic department spokesman Bruce Madej said he was
unaware of any talks.
On the day Carr announced he was stepping down, Martin said he
hoped to complete the hiring process quickly.
But LSU's Les Miles withdrew from consideration before he was
scheduled to meet with Martin and signed a contract extension with
Rutgers' Greg Schiano said last week after being contacted about
the Michigan job that he was staying with the Scarlet Knights.
After a 13-9 loss to Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale
knocked West Virginia out of the national championship game,
Rodriguez said he wasn't going to be on the move.
"The impact of your name being thrown about is sometimes a
little overrated. It probably makes for a lot of angst among
families and we don't want that," he said. "Sorry but you all are
stuck with me here."
Rodriguez has a 60-26 record at West Virginia. The Big East
champion Mountaineers (10-2) play No. 3 Oklahoma (11-2) next month
in the Fiesta Bowl.
Last December, Rodriguez agreed to a one-year contract extension
through 2013 after he turned down a lucrative offer from Alabama.
The extension includes a $4 million buyout clause if he leaves
before August 2008. That doubles the amount from the previous
Beilein had a $2.5 million buyout clause in his West Virginia
contract, but under an agreement with the university he agreed to
pay $1.5 million to the WVU Foundation for leaving for Michigan
with five years remaining in his contract.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.