Originally published Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I’ve written before that I am a big fan of college football. And it’s hard to miss that my favorite team is the WVU Mountaineers. And anyone who follows sports news is aware that WVU’s former football coach and new University of Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez is in a down-and-dirty contract dispute with his and my alma mater WVU.
The dispute centers around a $4 million buy-out clause in Rodriguez’s contract. Rich doesn’t want to honor the terms of the contract he signed and is trying to get out of paying what he owes. WVU is suing to get the money. The whole affair is a lot like a messy divorce.
Although Rodriguez claims that he was pressured into signing the contract, he had agreed to all the terms of the contract before it was written up, and he signed it with full knowledge of what was contained therein. He now claims that he had received a verbal promise from the incoming new university president that the buy-out would be reduced or eliminated, and that he signed the contract containing the buy-out clause with the understanding that the new president would do something about it.
Since this is a he said-she said situation, what are we to think? Well, there are several factors that lead me to believe that Rodriguez is simply trying to get out of paying what he owes:
Number one, Rodriguez has a history with WVU of not being truthful.
Number two, if Rodriguez really wanted the buy-out clause changed and if incoming president Michael Garrison really made a verbal commitment to have it changed, why didn’t Rodriguez wait until the contract actually was changed before signing it? He had already gone eight months without signing the contract. It boggles the mind that he would sign the contract without the amendment he desired having been made.
Here’s an analogy. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I think it illustrates the stupidity of Rodriguez’s claims. Say that you had agreed with a lender to borrow a sum of money at an interest rate of 8%. When the papers have been draw up, you decide that the 8% you had agreed to is too high, so you ask the lender for a lower interest rate. The lender says that he will give you a lower interest rate. Do you sign the agreement that stipulates an interest rate of 8%?
And number three, and this is a smoking gun, imnsho. Number three, Coach Rod agreed to a contract at Michigan that includes a $4 million buy-out clause. If he is so opposed to buy-out clauses, why would he agree to yet another contract with a hefty buy-out clause?
So what does the continuing saga of a ruthless, greedy, unethical, and egomaniacal college football coach who wants to break the terms of a contract he negotiated, agreed to, and signed have to do with me and my knitting?
Today I broke my new year’s resolution not to join any knit-along in 2008. What KAL could possibly be so tempting as to cause me to break my solemn pledge? Two words: Elizabeth Lovick.
Liz, a wonderful and generous Shetland lace expert is doing an Orkney Lace Pi Shawl KAL on the EZasPi Yahoo group. She previously did a Shetland Lace workshop on the same list, and a Gansey workshop. And on another list she did a hap shawl workshop/KAL. Her workshops are superb.
How could I possibly pass up such an opportunity? Oh, I can hear you loud and clear. Pinkoknitter, you are saying, why not just save the files as they are posted? Then you can knit the Orkney Pi at your leisure and not break your resolution.
My reply? Are you nuts? If I do the KAL, I’ll have herself to answer any questions and to give expert advice and to perhaps comment on my progress as I post photos. How’s that for rationalization?
Of course, joining a KAL means buying more yarn. Yes, I could use yarn from my stash. I’m certain I have plenty of Knit Picks lace weight merino in my stash. But if I’m going to make a Shetland-inspired shawl, I want to use a Shetland yarn. So I ordered a 450g cone of J&S Shetland Supreme 2-ply lace weight from Heirloom Knitting. Although the exchange rate is really horrid right now from the Usanian perspective, Shetland Supreme is incredibly affordable. And it’s the same yarn herself is using!
So you see, I had little choice but to join in this KAL. And I don’t have a buy-out clause to try to wriggle out of.