The eulogies in honor of Rich Rodriguez‘s time in Michigan are already beginning to roll in. The funeral home has been prepared, and, if you listen closely enough, you can hear the faint strains of “Amazing Grace” — or “You Raise Me Up” — wafting in the background.
It seems as if almost everyone either thinks RichRod must go or that, all things considered, it’s time for him to go.
Not included in that group, however, are his current players.
Speaking in the aftermath of an embarrassing evisceration at the hands of Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, several players came out publicly in support of their coach. In fact, several of them said they would personally lobby for RichRod’s return if that’s what it took.
“We would do that collectively as a group,” junior nose tackle Mike Martin said according to the Detroit News. “I love coach Rod, and all these coaches and staff. They’ve been there for me since I’ve been here. I’ve really grown with them and their families and know them on a personal level, so I have total support for coach Rod.”
“If that’s what needs to happen to keep him here, yes,” redshirt freshman offensive tackle Taylor Lewan (no relation) said. “But the biggest thing, all this focus should not be all on our coaches, it should be on the players. We’re the ones that did this. They were not out there, we were out there.”
As a whole, it appears the Wolverine players are solidly behind Rodriguez; star quarterback Denard Robinson refused to give an answer when asked if he would remain at Michigan if Rodriguez were dismissed.
Athletic director David Brandon, who has steadfastly refused to address his football coach’s future until after the bowl game, said a decision on Rodriguez’s fate could come by the end of the coming week.
“I’m going to travel back to Ann Arbor when the team goes back (Sunday morning), and over the next few days will wrap up my work as far as my evaluation that has been a nine-month process,” Brandon said. “I will meet with my coach, and I will have more to say on this matter the latter part of the week.
“I have done a lot of work on this, and I will continue to work on it.”
Whether RichRod continues on as Michigan’s head coach remains to be seen, although nearly every sign and piece of chatter coming out of the area is that the window is rapidly closing on his time in Ann Arbor.