WVU Awaits Rodriguez's Decision
Starr, Rick, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Coach Rich Rodriguez has been raising the bar around West Virginia's football program since he arrived six seasons ago, and he's showing no signs of slowing down.
He met with Mountaineers athletic director Ed Pastilong on Wednesday afternoon to discuss upgrades to the football facilities - - and apply leverage gained by recent discussions with Alabama officials about their coaching vacancy.
Several West Virginia boosters also have contacted Rodriguez in the past 36 hours to see what steps can be taken to keep him, according to the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette.
Six months after giving him a three-year contract extension, Pastilong gave Rodriguez a list of upgrades that could bolster recruiting.
However, Pastilong did not enter into a bidding war for Rodriguez's services.
Pastilong said he's waiting for Rodriguez to make a decision on his future direction.
"He's the one that can make that call," Pastilong said yesterday following the meeting.
Rodriguez did not return telephone messages at his office yesterday.
West Virginia students and football fans weren't sure how the power struggle would eventually turn out.
"Money talks, but I'd like for him to stay," freshman business major Irving Alvarado of Piscataway, N.J., said. "But I'm sure he'd definitely get more money in the SEC."
John Cavendish, an attorney who grew up in West Virginia's southern coal fields, identifies with the struggle Rodriguez faces deciding whether to leave his native state for opportunities elsewhere.
"It's a quality-of-life issue, and only he can answer that for himself and his family," said Cavendish, who holds both doctorate and law degrees from West Virginia and practices criminal law in Martinsville, W. …