Hearings will take place on April 3rd in Monongalia County Circuit Court

Updated: March 14, 2008, 4:10 PM ET
Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University and ex-coach Rich Rodriguez will get their day in court.

Judge Robert Stone set an April 3 hearing date in Monongalia County Circuit Court. Stone will hear several motions and counterclaims filed in WVU's lawsuit over a $4 million buyout clause in Rodriguez's contract.

Among the motions are orders to compel Rodriguez to produce evidence and a request to expedite the trial. Both sides have indicated a desire to finish before football season.

Rodriguez resigned in December after seven seasons with the Mountaineers to take the head coaching job at Michigan, taking some of his coaches and recruits with him.

WVU claims Rodriguez owes the full amount he agreed to pay in his contract. Rodriguez claims he signed that agreement under false pretenses, expecting certain verbal promises from the administration to be kept. They included the reduction or elimination of the buyout clause -- a promise WVU denies.

Depositions of Rodriguez and athletic director Ed Pastilong were scheduled for this month, but WVU attorney Tom Flaherty said Friday those will be conducted in April.

WVU sued Rodriguez Dec. 27, sparking a bitter public feud with charges and countercharges of lying and destruction of documents. The case was briefly sent to federal court, where a judge decided the case should be heard in state court.

His resignation shocked fans and the team headed for the Fiesta Bowl. The gradual disintegration of the relationship between Rodriguez and the WVU Athletic Department was documented in a series of e-mails outlining the coach's failed attempts to gain more control of the football program.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press