Coming up on Monday at 10:30 A.M. Pacific Time, Seth Davis sits down with Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez, and apparently gets coach to open up about a lot of topics.
I chatted with Seth Davis over the phone to see what Arizona fans can expect to see from the show. You can catch it live on CampusInsiders.com Monday, October 14th.
As you can see from the preview clips, the interview was taped in Jefferson Gymnasium. I thought that was interesting. Apparently the interview was moved up a day, and was originally supposed to happen in Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. But the crew was already set up in Jefferson to interview basketball head coach Sean Miller, former head coach Lute Olson, and incoming freshman Aaron Gordon. Those interviews should be aired sometime in the near future, but Davis told me dates hadn't been set yet.
While he didn't get to see the new football facilities, Davis did say he enjoyed Jefferson Gymnasium and watching Arizona basketball practice, and picked up some Chick-Fil-A in the union, which is of course, the ultimate campus experience...
The interview being taped in a basketball facility is sort of fitting, as RichRod knew he was coming to a school known for basketball. "At least we're known for something," he told Davis during the interview. But Davis said Rodriguez came off as very pleased to be at Arizona, and is "excited about building the program."
The whole interview is 30 minutes long, and covers pretty much his whole life, including his upbringing, and the evolution of the offense we see today.
Seth Davis took on this interview because he finds Rich Rodriguez to be a "compelling personality", which I think it's fair to say that a lot of us do. The point of this gig for Davis is to dig deep into coach's lives, and what has made them the person they are today. I would recommend checking out the other videos that are at Campus Insiders. There's a lot of interesting stuff up there.
When I asked Seth Davis about what stuck out the most to him during his sit-down with coach, the personal hurt that Rodriguez felt at West Virginia when he left for Michigan felt like the most poignant.
Rodriguez is from West Virginia, and he struggled with the idea of the West Virginia fans being angry at him. But in the end, he left WVU for Michigan because he "just didn't trust the administration", and the Athletic Director and President were not on board with the direction that the Mountaineers were heading.
Alabama Crimson Tide
The most interesting clip of the interview that Campus Insiders posted is this one, where RichRod goes into detail about almost becoming the head coach at Alabama
Seth Davis asked him to clear this up because of a book called "The System", written by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian. In the book, the authors go into detail about how close it really was for Rodriguez to be heading to Tuscaloosa. While I have not read the book, Davis told me that in it, the Alabama Athletic Director was under the impression that Rodriguez had accepted the job offer, which coach details in the video above.
Seth Davis sits down with Armen Keteyian Friday, October 18th to talk about some of the other things that show up in the book.
The exit from Michigan definitely does not sit well with Rich Rodriguez to this day. When Rodriguez was there, Michigan faced its first NCAA sanctions ever. In this preview clip, RichRod talks about what exactly those violations were. Spoiler alert: they're weird
Davis told me that Rodriguez was definitely "agitated" by the NCAA presence on Michigan's campus for an entire season, and that his relationship with the NCAA is "contentious" at best. We've seen some of that this season, especially when it came to the whole Davonte' Neal issue, when Rodriguez said the NCAA was "consistent about being inconsistent."
Davis also said that a couple of NCAA investigators visited Rodriguez on campus in Tucson earlier this year to ask him for some feedback about the process, and that Rodriguez definitely had a few suggestions for them.
Of course, those violations eventually led to Michigan showing RichRod the door in Ann Arbor, and left him out of the coaching world for a year, the first year that Rodriguez hadn't been coaching somewhere since 1985. Seems as though Rodriguez was concerned about getting back into coaching, and getting a chance at a high-end program again.
But Davis told me that Rodriguez is "very pleased" about the opportunity he got at Arizona from Athletic Director Greg Byrne.
Seems like the interview will be super interesting, and there will be a lot of stuff that comes out of it that Rodriguez hasn't really gone public with before. Make sure to check it out Monday, October 14th at 10:30 A.M. PT on CampusInsiders.com