Rich Rodriguez must be counting the minutes to kick off Saturday against Western Michigan. It will at least take his mind off his NCAA and legal problems.
Now Rodriguez is being sued for $3.9 million over a failed condominium project near the Virginia Tech football stadium in Blacksburg, Va. It turns out that he partnered up with Clegg Lamar Greene, a Clemson booster who has been banned -- twice -- by Clemson for alleged recruiting violations.
First of all, anyone who goes into any kind of deal with someone named Clegg Lamar has obviously participated in too many "nutcracker" drills without a helmet. Aside from his recruiting run-ins, Greene is also under felony fraud indictment for stealing money from a company he founded.
In 2001, Clemson banned Greene from the football program for a year after an internal investigation concluded that two recruits used his boat and received a $1,300 loan to rent a limo for their high school prom.
The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., reported that Greene also allegedly helped purchase Jeep Cherokees for the recruits while they worked for his landscaping company in the summer of 2000, a claim that apparently was never substantiated.
Rodriguez was the offensive coordinator at Clemson from 1999 to 2000.
A Spartanburg, S.C.-based bank originally loaned Rodriguez and his partner more than $26 million for the condo project in September 2007, when Rodriguez was still coaching at West Virginia.
But as the project struggled amid the economic downturn, that amount was amended down to about $3.63 million - the cost of only the land itself, according to loan documents filed with the court.
Last month, the bank sued Rodriguez in federal court in South Carolina, saying the coach owes $3.9 million - the land cost, plus interest and fees - for defaulting on a loan to build the condos.
Rodriguez' financial advisor says that the Michigan coach was a victim of a Ponzi scheme.
The fact is, this is another example of how Rich Rodriguez likes to push the envelope of the rules, whether it is recruiting players who have academic or legal troubles, extending "voluntary" workouts, or getting into business deals with people of questionable character.
The lawsuit isn't pleasant, but what makes Michigan alums uncomforable is that it is part of a consistent pattern of their coach doing business in a way that has not been the norm in Ann Arbor.
As a wise man once said, "You Lie Down With Dogs, You Get Up With Fleas."