The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette reported Tuesday that Rodriguez might have “destroyed all or most of the paperwork files relating to every player on the current Mountaineer roster and virtually all of the activities conducted by the programs over the past seven years.”It's an easy invitation for imaginations to run wild. The Duke lacrosse episode was a lesson on being cautious about accepting an entirely plausible, common-sense conclusion about people doing bad things.
Still, this has the whiff.
JJ Prescott, an assistant professor at the U-M Law School specializing in employment law, said “the key question is likely to be who owned the files — Rodriguez or the university?”I've had e-mails with friends today who've argued that they're skeptical of news coming out of West Virginia because fans there are so angry. This is backward. There's nothing more destructive than a swarm of motivated, pissed-off individuals. They will fight as long as they have ammunition. This is good ammunition.
“Rodriguez is free to destroy his own property,” Prescott wrote in an e-mail. “But, if the university owned the files, then Rodriguez might face criminal liability for destruction of property, possibly even if he mistakenly believed the files were his to (destroy).”