Bobby Hurley Accuses ASU AD of 'Disturbing' Handling of Harassment Allegations

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

DAYTON, OHIO - MARCH 20: Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts during the first half against the St. John's Red Storm in the First Four of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 20, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley wrote an email to athletic director Ray Anderson alleging he had "disregarded the safety and shown no sensitivity towards the women that have experienced sexual assault," according to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel.

Hurley was referring to an external investigation launched by Arizona State into Bart Wear, a former booster for the school. Three women, including Hurley's wife, had accused Wear of harassment.

In a statement to Thamel in February, the university said the investigation concluded Wear made "unwelcome comments and physical contact" to the three women in question.

According to Thamel, former senior associate athletic director David Cohen had filed a notice of claim that said Arizona State had waited almost five months to look into the allegations against Wear:

"In the notice of claim, Cohen details the encounter of his wife, Kathy Cohen, with a prominent ASU athletics booster, Bart Wear, at a Pac-12 tournament basketball game in March. According to the notice of claim, Kathy Cohen left her seat at T-Mobile Arena to use the restroom at halftime and attempted to pass Wear, a former ASU football player, in the aisle. Wear is alleged in the notice of claim to have 'put his hands on her waist, moved his hands up the side of her body to the sides of her breast, held his hands on the sides of her breasts and said, 'Dave is lucky to have you.'"

Leslie Hurley said Wear would "frequently approach her during ASU games" and touch her leg while they were conversing. She had grown so uncomfortable around him that she had asked others to stand in front of her while Wear walked by her seat.

Wear denied the allegations made by the three women, all of whom are married to members of the ASU athletic department, and filed a $5 million claim against Arizona State. He said the investigation amounted to "character assassination" and "a hatchet job."

Along with alleging Anderson failed to properly handle the claims against Wear, Hurley took issue with the AD using a numeric scale to judge the severity of Wear's actions.

Thamel obtained a copy of Anderson's response, which read in part: "Clearly, you have made judgements and conclusions, not to mention false and baseless allegations. Your approach here is puzzling."

Hurley wrote his email to Anderson after the Sun Devils' 77-65 win over Louisiana on Dec. 7, by which point the investigation into Wear had concluded.

Despite the investigation's findings, he attended the game and was in a "highly visible" location after Anderson had allegedly told Hurley that Wear would no longer maintain a presence at men's basketball events.