Let me note a few developments in WVU’s lawsuit against its former head football coach, Rich Rodriguez.
Yesterday, Rodriguez removed the lawsuit from the Circuit Court of Monongalia County to the Northern District of West Virginia at Clarksburg, based on an amount in controversy in excess of $75,000 and diversity of citizenship between the parties. Here are Rodriguez’s notice of removal and his notice of filing of notice of removal. Rodriguez alleges that plaintiff WVU’s Board of Governors is a West Virginia resident, while he
had established residency in the State of Michigan at the time this lawsuit was commenced [on December 27, 2007]. As has been widely reported in the local press, Coach Rodriguez had been physically present in the State of Michigan and had a clear intention to remain there at the time of the commencement of this action as the football coach at the University of Michigan.
West Virginia University Board of Governors v. Rodriguez, Civil Action No. 1:08-CV-00041. The action has been assigned to Chief Judge Irene M. Keeley.
For completeness, here is Exhibit D to WVU’s complaint, which is Rodriguez’s resignation letter to WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong, and which I failed to include in my original post about WVU’s lawsuit against Rodriguez.
But this week, what is more significant than the procedural development are the revelations that, after announcing his departure for UM, Rodriguez destroyed or removed files that may be WVU’s property (although his agent has described them as Rodriguez’s personal files), and used his WVU-issued cell phone to call recruits, presumably to inform them of his plans. Because the news about the destruction of the files has been widely reported, for now, here are Dave Hickman’s article in Tuesday’s Charleston Gazette and Mike Casazza’s article in yesterday’s (Charleston) Daily Mail.
Casazza also has an article about the cell phone use in today’s Daily Mail, The paper obtained the cell phone records from WVU under the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act.