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MSA rejects measure calling for Athletic Dept. to fire Rodriguez

BY CLAIRE GOSCICKI
Daily Staff Reporter
Published December 7, 2010

At the final Michigan Student Assembly meeting of the semester last night, representatives shot down a proposed resolution to encourage the University’s Athletic Department to dismiss Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez.

The resolution, proposed by Public Policy junior and ex-officio representative Nathan Hamilton and LSA freshman and representative Omar Hashwi, received 5 yes and 24 no votes to be placed on last night's meeting agenda.

The resolution states that, “Rodriguez’s first two years at Michigan featured two losing seasons, no bowl games, and accusations of possible NCAA violations in regards to the hours the team practices … and Rodriguez currently has the lowest winning percentage of any coach in the history of Michigan football.”

Fans and media have been speculating on Rodriguez’s job status after his third straight loss to Ohio State at the end of last month. University Athletic Director David Brandon has said repeatedly that he would evaluate Rodriguez at the end of the season, which he defines as after the Wolverines play Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Speaking before the assembly, Hashwi recalled football seasons past, highlighting the differences in end-of-season win/loss records between Rodriguez and previous coaches as cause for his termination.

“Before (Rodriguez’s) arrival, we fought hard against the toughest teams,” Hashwi said.

Hamilton echoed Hashwi’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of having student voices heard on this “dynamic” issue.

“Rich Rodriguez has been a black stain on this University and needs to be held accountable,” he said.

Other MSA representatives brought up the proposal’s faults in front of the assembly.

Public Policy junior and representative Steven Zuckerman questioned whether student-athletes’ opinions were considered in the construction of the resolution.

“I agree that maybe (the issue) is something to talk about, but I don’t know if it necessarily represents the concerns of students,” he said.

MSA Vice President and Business senior Jason Raymond also expressed his concerns about the proposal saying it “distracts” from the assembly’s more pertinent business.

“It could potentially ruin relationships we’ve built with the Athletic Department,” he said.

MSA President and LSA senior Chris Armstrong declined to comment on the specifics of the proposal after the meeting, but said “it had no place on the agenda.”

In an interview after the meeting, Hashwi expressed his disappointment that the issue wouldn't be on the next meeting’s agenda.

“We’re here to discuss large issues,” he said.

Hamilton agreed, adding that the proposal will now be put to rest, as it was time-sensitive.

“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t place it on the agenda,” Hamilton said after the meeting. “We want healthy debate.”


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