GRANT TOWN, W.Va. -- Relatives of Rich Rodriguez have been
harassed and threatened in the three weeks since his resignation as
West Virginia football coach.
His mother, Arleen Rodriguez, said her teen grandson received
a death threat and found other harassing notes taped to his locker
at East Fairmont High School. Arleen said her 12-year-old
granddaughter had to be escorted to classes.
Mountaineers fans furious over Rodriguez's Dec. 16 decision to
accept the coaching job at Michigan also vandalized his home near
Morgantown, hanging signs on a fence and tossing a mailbox in the
"He put seven years into WVU and now everybody thinks he's
garbage," his mother said. "Think like a parent. That's all I can
say. Think about it. Think about what you're doing."
The backlash has been even more venomous on the Facebook social
networking site, where dozens of groups with profanity-laced names
have formed, devoted to wishing ill for Rodriguez and his family.
A similar but short-lived fury boiled up last month against
Mountaineer kicker Pat McAfee, who received angry text messages and
had his car vandalized after missing two field goals in West
Virginia's 13-9 loss to Pitt. The loss knocked WVU out of national
championship contention, but the team went on without Rodriguez to
beat Oklahoma in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Several wealthy football boosters claim there was
behind-the-scenes tension between Rodriguez and the WVU
administration, but the coach has yet to discuss the
"I don't think he felt wanted at WVU any more," his mother