Rich Rodriguez Accused of Trying to Kiss, Exposing Himself to Employee, More

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25:  Head coache Rich Rodriguez of the Arizona Wildcats watches from the sidelines during the first half of the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A former administrative assistant for recently fired Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has accused him of sexual harassment in a notice of claim, the step before a lawsuit, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today

The assistant accused Rodriguez of multiple incidents of harassment: 

"The claim also alleges Rodriguez behaved inappropriately toward her on several occasions, including calling her into his office in January 2017 when he began discussing his marital problems and then grabbed her, 'embraced her, touched the side of her breast, and tried to kiss her.'

"She managed to pull away, the claim said. 

"Another time he touched himself inappropriately in front of her. He also made 'incredibly inappropriate comments to her,' the claim said, such as telling her his underwear 'visually enhanced' his genitalia."

She also said "Rodriguez and his closest aides followed a 'hideaway book' that detailed such sayings as 'Title IX doesn't exist in our office,' referring to the federal gender-equity law," according to the Arizona Daily Star.

The former employee and two assistant coaches also reportedly referred to themselves as the "Triangle of Secrecy," as they were "tasked with lying to Rodriguez's wife to cover up an extramarital affair, according to the claim, and were ordered to protect the coach's reputation above all else."

She also said Rodriguez would call her at all hours, be it to make travel adjustments or to handle the coach's "personal emergencies."

The allegations were first brought against Rodriguez in Oct. 2017. A school-led investigation by law firm Cohen Dowd Quigley determined that the allegations "could not be substantiated based on the evidence and witnesses available." However, it was noted the athletic department became aware of information that "caused it to be concerned with the direction and climate of the football program."

The former assistant is now seeking $7.5 million in damages from both Rodriguez and Rodriguez's wife in her pending lawsuit.

Rodriguez called the allegations against him "baseless and false." 

Rodriguez was fired on Tuesday night without cause. His dismissal will reportedly include a $6.3 million buyout from the school, according to Wolken.

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