ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The coach walked onto the field wearing
the familiar navy cap with a maize 'M' on the front, but that was
about all that looked the same Saturday at Michigan Wolverines's first spring
Rich Rodriguez began introducing his spread-option system. The
coach hired away from West Virginia has fans hoping he can breathe
life into an offense many found stale and predictable. He sees
plenty of work ahead.
"It was ugly at times and I was encouraged at times,"
Rodriguez said after the session. "Typical first practice."
The Wolverines ended last season 9-4 and ranked No. 18 after
defeating Florida in the Capital One Bowl. Lloyd Carr said before
the game he was retiring after 13 seasons.
Rodriguez accepted the job shortly after West Virginia lost its
regular-season finale to Pittsburgh and cost itself a shot at a BCS
championship game berth.
The coach didn't just have football on his mind Saturday.
Attorneys for the coach and his former employer learned Friday
they're expected in a West Virginia court April 3 concerning a
lawsuit WVU filed in December.
The university wants Rodriguez to pay a $4 million buyout of his
old contract. Rodriguez contends he signed that agreement under