MORGANTOWN — West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez labels as baseless reports circulating that he may be under consideration for head football coaching jobs at Alabama and Miami.

“I don’t know how rumors get started,” he said Tuesday, “and that’s all it is — rumors. I haven’t talked to anybody at any other schools.

“The way it is nowadays, anyone can put something on the Internet and people think it’s gospel. ... It’s unfortunate. But that’s technology.”

Rodriguez had said Monday on the Big East coaches’ weekly teleconference that he’s “very happy” at WVU in responding to a similar inquiry.

He emphasized he’s focusing strictly on recruiting and preparations for Saturday night’s game at home against No. 13 Rutgers.

“I’m excited about that,” he said.

“This is game week, the same as always, and we’re working on a Rutgers game plan. We’re trying to win a big game against Rutgers.”

The 15th-ranked Mountaineers, 9-2 overall and 4-2 in the Big East, already are assured of a bowl bid. They likely will learn their bowl destination early next week.

Rodriguez doesn’t think his name being linked to job openings elsewhere is any distraction. He doesn’t let it become that.

“I don’t read your newspapers, and I don’t get on the Internet,” he said with a chuckle. “I told our players we need to focus on Rutgers and not worry about the last game (a 24-19 loss to underdog South Florida).”

He was pleased with the spirit and concentration he saw in Monday’s practice. He firmly believes his players have put the loss behind them.

“Whether we won or lost last week, this was going to be Senior Week,” Rodriguez said. “We want to make it fun for our 25 seniors and help them go out on a good note.

“We had a good meeting on Monday. That started the week, and I hope it goes on all week for these guys.”

He explained that some seniors contributed a lot, while some others haven’t played as much on the field but have helped.

“Last year’s senior class is documented pretty well, like last year’s senior class in basketball,” Rodriguez recalled. “This year’s class has accomplished an awful lot, too.

“I’d like for everybody that follows WVU football and WVU athletics to recognize these guys. They’ve done an a great deal for this program.”

Each of the seniors will gave a speech Friday night while the team is in seclusion at the Lakeview Resort. Rodriguez believes it will be a very emotional time for the coaches as well as the seniors.

“You spend a lot of time with them,” he stressed. “Position coaches get a little closer to them than maybe I do.

“But all are kids we brought in either on scholarship or as walk-ons. We get to know them and their families well. I’ve seen them mature on and off the field.”

The senior class could go out as the winningest in WVU football history. They also will be the first “swan song” group to earn three Big East championship rings and appear in five consecutive bowls.

“Finality doesn’t hit until the last home game,” Rodriguez concluded. “I’m sure there will be tears in the locker room Saturday.”

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