Rich Rodriguez Says Power 5 School Illegally Stealing His Players

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Rich Rodriguez put together an incredible season at Jacksonville State this year, finishing the year 9-4 with a bowl win in the New Orleans Bowl. With this level of success, larger Power programs are now starting to look at Jax State to attempt to steal their players, according to Rodriguez.

Jacksonville State has lost a couple of players this offseason and Rodriguez isn’t happy about how they left. ”

Clearly tampered with before he got in the portal,” Rodriguez told The Anniston Star. “And I know that because I talked to him before he was in the portal. He told me what school it was, and he told me the amount that they were going to pay him.

“And so that doesn’t happen independently. Some guy is not going to get a certain amount without somebody on that other staff alright facilitating that move.”

Rodriguez continued: ‘“I tried to call the head coach, and no response, of course. … They tamper and make a flat-out offer to entice you to come, and then the kid goes oh shoot, okay you’re going to pay me that, okay I’ll get in the portal,” Rodriguez said. “That happened, and it happened yesterday morning, and that part of it is like are you kidding me? You’re at a Power 5 and you’re going to do that? Good luck.”

Rodriguez went on to say that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence, seemingly admitting that his decision to leave West Virginia for Michigan was a bad decision in hindsight. “Well, I’ve learned that in coaching moves, I’ve done the same thing, I’m happy, and then I made a move I shouldn’t have,” Rodriguez said. “It’s the same kind of way for a player. If you’re happy don’t mess with it, particularly if the money isn’t life-changing.

“The money in the NFL is life-changing. Some of these guys’ money that they are getting in Power 5, some of the things they are paying their quarterback could be life-changing, but if they are paying a backup lineman whatever, it seems like a lot more because you’re not getting anything from this other school. Is it really going to be, are you going to be happy? Is it really going to be the best opportunity for you?”