Well, Rich Rodriguez' little tantrum is working, as bloggers and national media alike are beginning to discuss the "bad blood" brewing between Rodriguez and Danny Hope. It's also entertaining to see others saying this was low-class on Danny Hope's part while it's okay for Rich Rodriguez, during his press conference, to whine about it like a little lady. Seriously, tuck in your skirt, Rich, and toughen up a little bit.
For those not in the know...
One of Rich's players got suspended back in September after throwing a punch in their game against Notre Dame. Rich then drew attention to a Zach Reckman late hit at the end of the NIU game and he got his way and the league suspended Reckman a game. And Coach Hope wasn't happy about it.
Now, for the record, I was bothered by Reckman's late hit at the end of the NIU game. I thought it was uncalled for and I did indeed think it was malicious. But it was fairly harmless and was not a punch. And, get this, it had nothing AT ALL to do with the football team Rich Rodriguez coaches! So rather than worrying about Purdue-NIU happenings, he should have been worried about what punches his thugs were throwing.
Fast forward to today's win and after the game Danny Hope introduced Rich to Reckman and "thanked" him (Rodriguez) for what he did, obviously sarcastically. Hope and Rodriguez clearly threw some words back and forth after the little interaction and that was that.
That is, until Rich got pissy during his press conference today and brought up the exchange for all to hear. Well, his version of things, anyway, which shockingly paints him in the aw-shucks innocent light. And, of course, he stated had nothing to do with Reckman getting suspended.
You know, Rich, if you're going to sling arrows, at least be man enough to acknowledge you damn well did have something to do with it. Otherwise, you're just a coward.
I don't like Hope doing what he did today. Let's make that clear. I don't like players seeing that behavior and thinking that's the proper way to act. I do, however, like how loyal Hope is to his guys. It may not turn out to be a good thing in the end, but it's the kind of thing that gets guys to play hard for you. Sometimes this is what comes from guys who are emotional and more invested in a team than most of us can understand.
During Rodriguez' press conference, I actually began to feel a little bad for him, as he squirmed through all the questions and looked genuinely pained. And then he acted like a schoolgirl who'd had her pig tails pulled on the bus... and any sympathy I had for this clown went right out the window.
Was Hope in the right? No, most likely he was not. But is Rodriguez in the right, bringing this up during a postgame press conference where he should be focusing on his 1-5 conference record and how to win games?
Hey, Michigan backers, if you want to hitch your wagon to this story, go ahead. But if you do, your head is buried deep.