Rodriguez claims W.Va. reneged on deal

January 26, 2008

More than two weeks after he was sued over a $4 million buyout clause in his contract at West Virginia, Rich Rodriguez turned in a second resignation letter, claiming university president Mike Garrison reneged on an agreement to reduce and possibly eliminate that clause.

Jeffrey Wakefield, the school's attorney in the case, denied yesterday that such a promise was made.

The letter obtained by the Associated Press and bearing Rodriguez's name is an indication of the tack his legal defense will take when he files a response to that lawsuit in U.S. District Court. The deadline is Feb. 4.

Rodriguez resigned with a one-sentence letter Dec. 18 so he could take the coaching job at Michigan, touching off a bitter public dispute in which each side has accused the other of lying. The latest letter is dated Jan. 10.

West Virginia sued Rodriguez, alleging a breach of contract, Dec. 27.

More college football -- Three Penn State players charged in connection with a campus fight have been kicked off the team, at least temporarily, a person familiar with the players' status told the AP on the condition of anonymity. Defensive tackle Chris Baker and linebacker Navorro Bowman are awaiting trial on felony assault and other charges related to a fight in October at the student union. Cornerback Knowledge Timmons was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and defiant trespass stemming from an incident after the fight.

College basketball -- Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has suspended starting guard Jerome Dyson of Rockville and backup guard Doug Wiggins, both sophomores, indefinitely for violating team rules. The suspensions came as the team prepared to take on No. 7 Indiana today. ... Southern California freshman star O.J. Mayo violated an NCAA rule by accepting free tickets from Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) to an NBA game. Mayo must contribute $460, the value of the two tickets, to a charitable organization.

Golf -- Gil Morgan shot a 7-under-par 65 for the first-round lead at the Turtle Bay Championship in Kahuku, Hawaii. Morris Hatalsky was two strokes behind in the Champions Tour event. Defending champion Fred Funk opened with a 70. Funk, a former golf coach at Maryland, is seeking a Hawaiian sweep after his two-stroke win over Allen Doyle last week at Hualalai.

NHL -- Former Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford will testify that he yelled at Todd Bertuzzi to get off the ice before the attack on Colorado Avalanche player Steve Moore on March 8, 2004, an Ontario court heard. The statement by lawyer Alan D'Silva, who represents the Canucks and their owners, shocked a pretrial hearing in Moore's multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Bertuzzi and Orca Bay Hockey.

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