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Post Burning couch, shredded document

Tuesday January 15, 2008

Officials at West Virginia suspect former coach Rich Rodriguez of taking the scorched earth strategy to the extreme on his way out of town:

Soon after returning to work after the Fiesta Bowl a little more than a week ago, the staff at the Puskar Center found that most of the files — including all of the player files — that had been stored in Rodriguez’s private office were missing. In addition, all of the players’ strength and conditioning files in the weight room were gone.

According to multiple sources, several people in the Puskar Center reported seeing Rodriguez and at least one member of his inner circle, video coordinator Dusty Rutledge, in Rodriguez’s private office shredding paperwork on Dec. 18.

This is on top of a $4 million dispute between Rodriguez and West Virginia over breaking his contract. The ill will was already bad enough, but now one has to wonder what he was hiding, especially in the area of player development.

While the files in Rodriguez’s office held a wide range of information, those that were discovered missing from the weight room office were more specific. Those included every aspect of strength and conditioning progress made by players under former strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Barwis, who along with most of his immediate staff followed Rodriguez to Michigan after the Fiesta Bowl. Those files included the progression made by each player in every specific area, from bench-press totals to 40-yard dash times. The files even included pictures of the players at different points in their careers.

Now the world may never find out how Owen Schmitt was transformed from a walk-on into a mohawk-wearing cyborg that still had the capacity for human emotion.

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