From AP News:

West Virginia University’s $4 million lawsuit against ex-football coach Rich Rodriguez is headed for mediation, with the goal of resolving the dispute by Aug. 1.

But WVU attorney Jeff Wakefield says Judge Robert Stone’s order is standard, and he thinks it’s unlikely mediation will help.

Wakefield says the university remains firm in its position that Rodriguez owes $4 million under the contract in place when he resigned in December to take Michigan’s head coaching job.

If mediation doesn’t end the dispute, Stone will hear motions on Nov. 10.

Here’s a trial with a large potential range of outcomes — $0 to $4 million and anything in between.  Legal fees will not be a major factor in settling.  But removing the risk of getting $0 (if you’re WVU) or having to pay $4 million (if you’re Rodriguez) is a huge incentive to settle.  Plus mediation would make any settlement confidential (presuming the parties require it).

As for WVU’s comment that he did not think mediation would be helpful, I wish I had a dollar for every attorney who told me that only to have the case settle in mediation.