sunny.png
Sunday October 20th, 2019 5:31PM

Ex-assistant to fired Arizona coach wants $7.5 million

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

A claim filed by the former assistant to fired Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez says he walked around the office in his underwear, fondled himself in front of her and forced her to cover up an extramarital affair he had with another woman.

The claim seeking damages against Rodriguez was filed by an attorney for the former assistant and her husband and is a required precursor to a lawsuit against a government official. It was released Wednesday by the Arizona attorney general's office.

Lawyer Augustine Jimenez III is seeking a $7.5 million settlement for his clients, saying in the claim that jurors who might consider a lawsuit against a coach who misused his power could award tens of millions of dollars "in this current climate where #MeToo is in the headlines." Jimenez didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Arizona fired Rodriguez on Tuesday night. The university said it began an investigation in October after receiving a sexual harassment complaint against Rodriguez, but could not substantiate the woman's claims because she declined to be interviewed by the school.

"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," a joint statement from university President Robert Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke said.

The statement said that while the decision to fire Rodriguez was difficult, "it is the right decision. And it is a decision that lives up to the core values of the University of Arizona."

The university said it would honor the separation terms in Rodriguez's contract, which calls for a buyout.

Rodriguez denied the former assistant's allegations but acknowledged he had an affair.

"I am not a perfect man, but the claims by my former assistant are simply not true and her demands for a financial settlement are outrageous," Rodriguez said. "I am saddened that these accusations and investigation have caused my family additional stress."

The former assistant had worked for the university since 2001 and was an assistant to the head of football operations under former coach Mike Stoops until he was fired in 2011. The claim says Rodriguez hired her as his assistant on Stoops' recommendation, and she "redoubled her already tireless efforts to make sure Rodriguez has a smooth transition into the role."

The claim says her enthusiasm began to wane in 2013 with the introduction of a Rodriguez-authored "Hideaway Book" that aimed to establish secrecy in football operations. The woman and other top staff began calling themselves the "Triangle of Secrecy" and were required to help cover up and facilitate Rodriguez's indiscretions, especially his extramarital affair, and protect his reputation, the claim says. She quit in August.

The claim outlines a series of incidents beginning in 2015 where the assistant was put in difficult positions involving the woman Rodriguez was seeing and the coach's wife. Numerous incidents were detailed where she was required to lie to Rodriguez's wife.

It also detailed multiple incidents of untoward actions by Rodriguez toward the woman, including walking past her in his underwear, describing how he liked tight briefs, an attempt to kiss her in his office and touching her breast and fondling himself under his shorts after calling her into his office.

The woman's name is included in the legal claim but The Associated Press generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual misconduct.

Rodriguez had an immediate impact after arriving in Arizona in 2012, leading the Wildcats to four straight bowl games. Arizona stumbled in 2016, losing eight straight games to finish 3-9. The Wildcats went 7-6 last season. Rodriguez was 43-39 in six seasons at Arizona.

He arrived in Tucson after an ugly split with Michigan, where he coached for three seasons. Rodriguez went 15-22 in Ann Arbor and was hit with a "failure to monitor" charge when the school was put on three years' probation by the NCAA.

Rodriguez made a name for himself at West Virginia, where his fast-hitting zone read offense changed the way college football teams ran their offenses. He took the Mountaineers from a three-win team in 2001 to three 10-win seasons his final three years there.

___

More AP college football: https://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
N. Korea reopens cross-border communications with S. Korea
North Korea reopens cross-border communication channel with South Korea in another sign of easing animosity between the rivals
2:36PM ( 10 minutes ago )
6-time champion Djokovic unsure of playing Australian Open
Novak Djokovic is still not sure whether he will be able to play in the Australian Open
2:32PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Gadot, Ronan, Janney join Golden Globes black dress protest
Gal Gadot, Saoirse Ronan and Mary J. Blige will be dressed in black at the Golden Globes
2:25PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Ex-boxing champ Vinny Paz appears in court on assault charge
Ex-boxing champion Vinny Paz has been released after turning himself in on a felony assault charge in Rhode Island
2:10PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Los Angeles suspect in 911 hoax faces felony in Kansas death
A 25-year-old Los Angeles has waived extradition proceedings in California and will face a Kansas charge that he made a hoax emergency call that led to the fatal police shooting of a Wichita resident
2:03PM ( 42 minutes ago )
This year's state elections could shape future for Congress
Voters in two-thirds of the states will be electing governors to new four-year terms this year and could indirectly be shaping the future of Congress for a decade to come
12:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Gruden: There's 'good chance' he'll return as Raiders coach
Jon Gruden says he had a good talk with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis about returning to the organization for a second stint as coach and believes there is a "good chance" it will happen
11:07AM ( 3 hours ago )
Bills RB McCoy to miss practice and listed day to day
Bills running back LeSean McCoy won't practice Wednesday because of a right ankle injury, and it's uncertain whether he can play at Jacksonville on Sunday in Buffalo's first playoff game in 18 years
10:34AM ( 4 hours ago )
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: North Korea reopens cross-border communications with South Korea; 2 Democrats to be sworn in as senators, narrow GOP majority; Winter storm forecast to dump snow from Florida to Carolinas
6:00AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Football
HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines expecting 5th child
The couple behind HGTV's "Fixer Upper" will be fixing up a nursery once again
10:39AM ( 4 hours ago )
Pitt coach calls out Louisville fan in 77-51 loss
Pittsburgh coach gets into verbal tussle with heckling fan in 77-51 loss to Louisville
10:09AM ( 4 hours ago )
VA document: Gunman who killed deputy had fled mental ward
A Veterans Affairs document obtained by The Associated Press says the gunman who killed a Colorado sheriff's deputy escaped from the mental health ward of a VA hospital in Wyoming in 2014 but was located and returned
10:23PM ( 16 hours ago )
College Sports
AP Source: Kansas State's Bill Snyder returning next season
A person familiar with his decision says Bill Snyder will return next season for his 27th with Kansas State, ending weeks of speculation about the 78-year-old coach's future
7:22PM ( 19 hours ago )
College Football Playoff TV ratings rise on return to Jan. 1
With the semifinals back New Year's Day, ESPN viewership for the College Football Playoff was the highest it has been since the first season of the postseason system four years ago
4:55PM ( 21 hours ago )
Sony Michel, Georgia can finally 'play for something big'
Coach Kirby Smart applauds character of Georgia team which rallied after trailing by 17 points to beat Oklahoma and advance to national championship game
2:45PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - College Football
N. Korea reopens cross-border communications with S. Korea
North Korea reopens cross-border communication channel with South Korea in another sign of easing animosity between the rivals
2:36PM ( 10 minutes ago )
6-time champion Djokovic unsure of playing Australian Open
Novak Djokovic is still not sure whether he will be able to play in the Australian Open
2:32PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Gadot, Ronan, Janney join Golden Globes black dress protest
Gal Gadot, Saoirse Ronan and Mary J. Blige will be dressed in black at the Golden Globes
2:25PM ( 20 minutes ago )
APNewsBreak: Foreign fishermen settle human trafficking suit
Attorneys for two Indonesian fishermen say their human trafficking lawsuit against an American fishing boat owner has been settled
2:20PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Bills RB McCoy misses practice and listed day to day
Bills running back LeSean McCoy won't practice Wednesday because of a right ankle injury, and it's uncertain whether he can play at Jacksonville on Sunday in Buffalo's first playoff game in 18 years
2:17PM ( 29 minutes ago )