Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse in the Pac-12
Earlier today, we wrote that 2017 was a disastrous year for the Pac-12.
2018 is starting out even worse.
Arizona fired head football coach Rich Rodriguez today after a 10-week investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.
The New York Times reported as follows:
Arizona fired Rich Rodriguez as its football coach on Tuesday after conducting an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against him, citing “several factors, including the direction and climate of our football program” for the move.
Rodriguez, 54, was the subject of a $7.5 million notice of claim filed last week with the state attorney general’s office accusing him of running a hostile workplace. The Arizona Daily Star first reported the notice of claim, which indicates a lawsuit is imminent, after a public records request.
Robert C. Robbins, the university’s president, and Dave Heeke, its athletic director, issued a joint statement on Tuesday evening announcing Rodriguez’s dismissal.
In the statement, Robbins and Heeke said the university had retained a law firm in October to investigate harassment allegations made against Rodriguez by a former employee of the athletic department. During the investigation, the statement said, the accuser declined to participate or turn over communications that she had said would support her allegations, so the university determined the claim could not be substantiated.
“However, Arizona Athletics did become aware of information, both before and during the investigation, which caused it to be concerned with the direction and climate of the football program,” the statement said.
Rodriguez posted a statement of his own on Twitter late Tuesday, saying he was “deeply disappointed” to learn of his firing. He also referred to the university “buying out his contract.”
He said in the statement that the complaints had been made by his former administrative assistant and that during the investigation he had voluntarily taken a polygraph test, which he said he passed. While he said the claims by the accuser were “baseless and false,” he said the claim “included a single truth” — that he had had an extramarital affair with a woman who was not affiliated with the university.