With one sentence Michigan's incoming athletic director put Rich Rodriguez on notice.
"Rich Rodriguez is our football coach, and he will be our football coach next year," David Brandon said Tuesday.
At this point, anything past that has to be considered gravy for Rich Rod. The NCAA notice of allegations came down on Monday and, well, let's just say things didn't go well. In fact the results were so distressing that a guy who hasn't even taken office yet (Brandon) is putting a cap on Rich Rod's Michigan career.
There wasn't much code to break in Brandon's statement after Michigan received its NCAA report card regarding those alleged practice-time violations. Rich, what Brandon was trying to say was it would be a good idea to go to a bowl next season. At least. And along the way it would be an equally good idea to give the boys a few months off -- just to even things up.
As if you needed to be reminded, the Detroit Free Press nailed it when it detailed the widespread abuse of the NCAA's 20-hour work week.
Now it's on Rich Rod first and Michigan second. It's clear that the losing has to end in 2010. Brandon didn't have to tell us that. Michigan wasn't going to wait much longer especially after Rodriguez dragged the school's name through the NCAA mud. Now it's just a matter of how many wins it will take for Rodriguez to save his job.
Eight? Seven? Six? Ten?
It's too much to take being embarrassed by the Big Ten on the field and by the coaching staff off of it.
The NCAA which likely will hear Michigan's side of things at the August committee on infractions hearing. (Preview: "We're sooooo sorry) By the end of the year we could have two monsters of the game both on probation, Michigan along with USC.
Lane Kiffin will keep his job, perhaps shy a few scholarships. But the pressure is ramped up on Rodriguez times 10. After winning eight games in two seasons, I'm not sure he can win the six it will take just to get to a bowl game.
It doesn't matter what I think, though. Rodriguez' boss just spelled out the terms of his future employment. No code-breaking needed.