Rodriguez Decides to Stay at WVU

Article excerpt

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia football coach Rich Rodriguez had no shortage of agents, boosters and university presidents giving him advice on whether to accept Alabama's offer to become the next Crimson Tide coach.

However, his decision may have come down to something his 10- year-old daughter said.

In the midst of a defining career decision -- with Alabama officials dangling a $12 million, six-year deal, according to sources in an ESPN.com report -- Rodriguez asked his daughter, Raquel, what he should do.

"Raquel goes, 'It's not my decision,' " Rodriguez said.

That's when it struck Rodriguez how many people would feel the impact of his decision if he left behind his native state, his coal- mining roots and his alma mater, not to mention the program he had built into a Big East power.

After weighing all the advice, Rodriguez declined Alabama's offer Friday afternoon, ending a dizzying week of phone calls, media speculation and behind-the-scenes negotiations.

"It's been an exhausting week, but I'll get caught up on my sleep one of these days," Rodriguez said.

After spending yesterday afternoon in his Milan Puskar Stadium office with his wife, Rita, they made the decision to remain at West Virginia.

"I wanted it to be a family decision," he said. "Rita is the ultimate coach's wife. She understands what my goals and aspirations are."

West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong rewarded Rodriguez yesterday by extending his current deal another two years through 2014, even though he gave the coach a three-year contract extension June 24 that boosted his pay to about $1. …