Contract Analysis: There’s a reason why Michigan waited to fire Rich Rodriguez

The Rich Rodriguez era turned out to be a costly one for Michigan.  Not only did their record fall to a mere 15-22 during that time, but the Wolverine defense sunk to its lowest level in Michigan history.  Even worse, was the financial setback it took.  Financially the era began with a $2,500,000 payment to West Virginia to buy Rodriguez out of his contract.  And today it ends with a $2,000,000 payment to, once again, buy Rodriguez out of his contract.  However, if you’re wondering why Michigan waited until after the bowl game to make this inevitable move, just know that contractually Michigan would have owed Rodriguez an additional $1,500,000 had they fired him before January 1, 2011…that would have been a total of $6,500,000 paid just for penalties!  Michigan may not have made the best decision in hiring Rodriguez, but they were smart in waiting to fire him until after his termination payment declined.