A year ago, Scott Shafer was regarded as one of the top defensive coordinators in the land. Today, he's out of work after taking "full responsibility for the demise of where Michigan’s program is at this time."
Now comes a report by Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press detailing terms of Shafer's departure, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
Shafer's separation agreement states that he "will not issue any statements to the media or in a public or similar setting which demean or disparage the University of Michigan, the football program, or any of their employees, in any way."
In return, he will continue to draw his salary and benefits, including a courtesy car, until May 1, 2009, unless he finds another job.
That's called hush money.
Shafer clearly is the fall guy for Michigan's 3-9 season, but there has to be more to this story. (Can you say Rich Rod?) He came to Michigan from Stanford, where he helped engineer the Cardinal's 24-23 victory over USC in 2007.
Stanford's Jim Harbaugh hired Shafer after doing an Internet search on the top defenses of 2006. Shafter was at Western Michigan at the time. His extensive resume also includes stops at Indiana, Northern Illinois and Illinois. Shafer was defensive coordinator at Northern Illinois in 2003 when the Huskies defeated Alabama, 19-16, at Tuscaloosa. His stay on the unemployment line is not expected to be a long one.