Could Arizona be looking for a new football coach?
According to USA Today, the school is “weighing” the possibility of firing Rich Rodriguez. While Arizona struggled toward the end of the season, a more important factor in the school’s decision-making may be a harassment complaint against the coach. From USA Today:
Beyond the on-field performance, however, the school also has been dealing with a troubling allegation behind the scenes that led school officials last fall to hire an outside law firm to investigate Rodriguez for potential workplace misconduct, according to the people with knowledge of the probe. Though no misconduct was determined by the probe, which Rodriguez cooperated with fully, a former administrative assistant subsequently has threatened to file a lawsuit against him.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, a “multi-million dollar” notice of claim against Rodriguez alleging a hostile work environment was filed Thursday.
Rodriguez is 43-35 in seven seasons with the Wildcats. He came to Arizona a year after his three-year run at Michigan ended. In tenures at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona Rodriguez is 118-83.
Per the USA Today report, if Rodriguez is fired he would be fired without cause, meaning Arizona would be on the hook for an over $6 million buyout from the school. And it would be the second-straight year a Pac-12 coach was fired in January. Cal fired Sonny Dykes in January 2017.
Arizona finished the season 7-6 after losing to Purdue in the Foster Farms Bowl. Arizona QB Khalil Tate became one of the country’s most dynamic players as the season went on, averaging 9.2 yards per carry and rushing for over 1,400 yards.
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