Rich Rodriguez Fired: Notes From Dave Brandon's Press Conference

Below are notes from Dave Brandon's press conference on the decision to fire Rich Rodriguez.

  • Brandon met with Rodriguez for several hours on Tuesday.
  • Measures for evaluation: performance in competition, recruiting and retention, academic performance, leadership and University image as it relates to players and coaches.
  • Brandon and Rodriguez agreed that the Tuesday meeting would not conclude with a decision. Brandon wanted Tuesday night to reflect on the meeting and informed Rodriguez of his decision on Wednesday morning.
  • "I believe this is the best decision for the future of Michigan football."
  • "I don't intend to do a public performance review."
  • "I appreciate the hard work that (Rodriguez) and his staff have put forth. Rich Rodriguez is a good man."
  • "I don't believe this is the result of a lack of effort."
  • Brandon is confident that Rodriguez will succeed in the future at another football program.
  • "Knowing that this decision is very fresh, I have a lot of work to do." Brandon will start the coaching search immediately after this press conference.
  • No committees will be created for the coaching search, but there's no lack of advice from people around the program.
  • "It's very important that I move as quickly as I possibly can."
  • "My job is to get the right coach."
  • It's a disruption to recruiting when you go through a transition like this.
  • Brandon's timetable will be motivated by hiring the right coach that can be successful, not needing a quick decision.
  • "I personally believe Jim Harbaugh is headed to the NFL."
  • "I do not believe we will have a shortage of interest from candidates."
  • This is still one of the premier programs in the countries.
  • If Michigan wants to be successful, "we need to rally around our new coach." Don't find fault or make hasty judgments about the new coach. "I hope that's what our fans are prepared to do."
  • The season concludes with the bowl game and that played into Brandon's decision to wait until after the season to make a decision.
  • The bowl game was another test to see if the program was making progress.
  • "I have talked to Jim Harbaugh and I will continue to talk to Jim Harbaugh. He is a Michigan man."
  • "I made this decision last night. I am a disciplined guy. I appreciate the opportunity to sit down after the season and do a thorough review."
  • Brandon met with Rodriguez for three and a half hours on Tuesday.
  • Anyone that suggests Brandon made his decision before Tuesday night doesn't know what they're talking about.
  • "Although it's not a pleasant decision, I believe it's the correct decision."
  • "I don't think Rich Rodriguez has had a peaceful night's sleep since he arrived in Ann Arbor."
  • It has been three years of turmoil for Rich Rodriguez since he got here.
  • "Clearly we need to put ourselves in a position where that is all history."
  • "The expectations here are extraordinarily high."
  • "Michigan is not used to this. Michigan fans expect more than this. So do Michigan athletic directors."
  • "We play difficult schedules. The Big Ten is a challenging conference. It's a smashmouth conference with big teams."
  • Every year there are "red-letter games" against teams like Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin and bowl opponents and Michigan went 3-15 in those games the last three years.
  • Michigan will be delaying recruiting visits originally scheduled for this weekend.
  • "One of the things that I look for is a coach who can modify their approach and their attack based on the personnel that they have."
  • "There's a thought of getting a defensive-minded everything. I want the ball boys to be defensive-minded."
  • A new coach doesn't necessarily have to come from a BCS conference. "Is Tressel a bad coach? He seems to be doing pretty well down there, at least against us."
  • Brandon said a report (by ESPN's John Clayton) that Harbaugh was offered a contract paying $5.2 million per year and turned it down was "erroneous." 
  • On Rodriguez's buyout: "The buyout is what the buyout is."
  • Brandon said Michigan has been in the middle of the pack in paying coaches. "I don't believe that's appropriate. There's a market out there and you pay for value."
  • Rodriguez will issue a statement later today, but will not be available to the media.

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