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Rodriguez's six-year deal with Wolverines worth at least $2.5 million a year

10/24/2008 - Michigan Wolverines

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- One day before his struggling football team's eighth game of the season, first-year Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez is finally under contract with the school.

He signed a six-year deal Friday worth at least $2.5 million annually, an amount that was agreed upon when he left West Virginia in December for Michigan.

The signatures of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman and athletic director Bill Martin also were on the document, a copy of which The Associated Press obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

University spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham said there was nothing unusual about the time it took to work out the terms of the agreement.

"It typically takes this amount of time to do a contract," she said.

The contract calls for Rodriguez to receive a first-year base salary of $300,000 plus $1,650,000 per year for television and radio shows, apparel compensation and promotions. The base salary is subject to increase each year in accordance with the university's salary merit program.

Rodriguez also will accrue benefits under a deferred-compensation plan that will cost the university $550,000 annually.

He also is eligible to earn one of the following bonuses each year:

• $300,000 for winning a national championship or

• $200,000 for getting into a Bowl Championship Series game or

• $100,000 for getting into a Jan. 1 non-BCS game or

• $50,000 for getting into a non-Jan. 1 bowl game.

Rodriguez also will receive the free use of two automobiles and, for all home football games beginning in 2010, be provided the use of a private viewing box large enough for eight people. Michigan Stadium is being renovated to add boxes and increase seating capacity.

If the university terminates Rodriguez's contract within the first three years, it would pay him $4 million; in year four, $2.5 million; in year five, $2 million; and in year six, up to $1.5 million but not more than the remaining amount he would be owed.

Should Rodriguez leave Michigan early to accept another coaching position, he would owe the school similarly.

The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2013, and is retroactive to Dec. 19, 2007.

The Wolverines are 2-5 under Rodriguez and having their worst season since 1967, two years before the start of the Bo Schembechler era. On Saturday, they will host Michigan State, (6-2), a team that Michigan has defeated six straight times and in every game at home since 1990.