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Coleman still supports Rodriguez as coach

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — It seems unlikely Michigan will fire Rich Rodriguez after two awful seasons with an NCAA investigation looming, a search for a new athletic director under way and luxury boxes to fill at the Big House.

One of the school’s richest graduates, though, said Rodriguez better win more football games in 2010.

“If he has a bad year next year, he’ll have a lot more pressure,” Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told The Associated Press, standing near midfield before the Wolverines lost to Ohio State on Saturday to finish 5-7. “I don’t think he has anything to worry about right now in my mind.”

One person can end the speculation about Rodriguez’s future and she has declined to do it.

An e-mail asking school president Mary Sue Coleman if Rodriguez will be Michigan’s coach next season was sent Sunday, and the response didn’t quite answer the question.

“The president remains supportive of the coach,” associated vice president Kallie Bila Michels responded.

Coleman has turned down interview requests since strongly supporting Rodriguez in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, making a comparison to the patience former basketball coach Tommy Amaker was afforded before being fired.

“I don’t think it’s fair to coaches to bring them in and say, ‘We’re going to give you three years,”’ Coleman told The Journal early this month.