[ed- bumped for truthiness. I was livid at the time because I thought Rodriguez was just getting cute, but with head injuries there is no wiggle-room at all; keep the kid out.]
Whether you think Rod is a good coach dealing with a tough defensive situation, or an idiot who needs to be cracked on the head with the Little Brown Jug on his way out the door at the end of the season or anything in between, I think it's important to recognize what he's done right.
He took Denard Robinson out of the game.
Denard is a fantastic athlete, seems like a really honest kid and is as competitive as they come. If Rodriguez loses this game to Illinois his odds of remaining as the University of Michigan head coach grow a lot slimmer, and he should definitely want his best player on the field in an effort to protect his own future.
Then Denard got hit in the head, felt dizzy and said he felt like he had a headache.
And his day was over.
"He was dizzy," Rodriguez said. "He had a little headache. For his safety, we're not going to put him back in."
With his livelihood possibly at stake in a loss, Rich Rod took the safe route with the health of his player over the greater chance to win that Denard brings to the table. In a world where the seriousness of head injuries are only just starting to be revealed, it was a moment that I felt needed drawing attention to, and praising Coach Rodriguez for. Denard may not have a concussion, but keeping him off the field after taking one hard hit to the head certainly reduced his risk of having something terrible happen if it were to happen again (as a Cowboy fan, I remember all to well the litany of concussions that spelled the end of the Troy Aikman era). Coach Rodriguez put the wellbeing of his player over his job, something I'm fairly pessimistic about most other coaches doing in a similar situation.
Congratulations on the win, coach. And congratulations for doing the right thing as well. I hope you win it all next year.