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“The coach is ultimately responsible, but that doesn’t mean that the coach is involved in all of the activities that occurred,” Dee said. “Some of the things that did occur did not get all the way to the coach, but ultimately, the coach bears a responsibility for the program.”

Rodriguez is widely considered one of the architects of the spread offense that has become the rage in college football, creating his version of three- and four-receiver sets at tiny Glenville State in 1990.

Rodriguez recruited two freshmen who could lead his offense _ Robinson and Tate Forcier _ and they helped the 2009 team get off to a strong start that put Michigan on the cover of Sports Illustrated. His defenses never kept pace.

Toward the end of the collapsing 2009 season, Rodriguez took a few not-to-subtle shots at Carr and his staff in terms of recruiting talent to Ann Arbor.

“The last three Februarys, or four Februarys, have hurt us a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “The next two or three Februarys will be very critical. That’s where it starts.”

Rodriguez, though, didn’t get a chance to finish what he started.

Rich is a good person and coach,” Brandon said. “It’s unfortunate that it didn’t work out at Michigan, but I’m sure that Rich and his staff will find opportunities at other institutions.”