Rich Rodriguez fired after 6 seasons with Arizona

Florence Fletcher
January 14, 2018

Raquel is a cheerleader at the University of Arizona and Rhett is on the football team.

Arizona, somewhat surprisingly, fired head coach Rich Rodriguez on Tuesday.

While Rodriguez has denied the harassment allegations by his former assistant as "baseless and false", he admitted in a Tuesday statement on Twitter that he was involved in an extramarital affair with a woman outside the university.

The Daily Star reported that the University of Arizona conducted its own investigation into allegations of sexual harassment from a former employee, but did not find enough to fire Rodriguez over the claim.

Wilhelmsen finally left the department in August for a non-University job, but was cornered by Rodriguez's wife on her last day, before confessing to the truth about Rodriguez's girlfriend, according to the claim.

"Notably, the complainant refused to cooperate with the investigation", Rodriguez noted.

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In that claim a former employee alleged Rodriguez sexually harassed her and created a hostile work environment. That notice of claim was reportedly filed last week, and by Tuesday night, Rodriguez was out of a job. "He also made "incredibly inappropriate comments to her, ' the claim said, such as telling her his underwear 'visually enhanced" his genitalia".

The claim includes an allegation that players on the team sent the woman screenshots of their genitalia and illicit overtures via text message and that when she went to Rodriguez to intervene, he ignored her. Here's the statement from the University. The Wildcats went 7-6 this season to finish in third place in the PAC-12 South Conference, losing in the Foster Farms Bowl to Purdue on December 28 having failed to make the postseason previous year. Furthermore, he said outside investigation by the school into workplace misconduct found no wrongdoing on the part of the former Arizona coach. The athletics department is initiating a national search for its next head football coach and will utilize a search firm to assist with the process.

Rodriguez had an immediate impact after arriving in Arizona in 2012, leading the Wildcats to four straight bowl games. But things have fallen off each of the past two years, with Arizona posting a 3-9 record in 2016 before struggling to establish consistency again this season.

The week after New Year's is always one that less successful football coaches fear, and Rich Rodriguez may be the worst one off yet.

Rodriguez himself confirmed his ouster shortly thereafter, explaining that he was informed via email that the Wildcats would be buying out his contract.

Since then Arizona has gone 17-21 over the past three seasons and now these allegations have come to light.

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