- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hours after the University of Arizona announced that it was firing football coach Rich Rodriguez amid sexual harassment allegations against him, Rodriguez released a statement Tuesday night saying the allegations were “baseless and false.”

Rodriguez says the claim of misconduct came from his former administrative assistant, who “threatened a $7.5 million lawsuit alleging harassment.”

“The University initiated a thorough outside investigation,” Rodriguez writes. “I fully cooperated with the investigation, including voluntarily taking and passing a polygraph. The University determined that there was no truth to her accusations and found me innocent of any wrongdoing. … It was comforting to be reassured of what I already knew, the claims were baseless and false.”

In the school’s statement released earlier on Tuesday, university officials said the “original specific harassment allegations against Mr. Rodriguez could not be substantiated based on the evidence and witnesses available.” 

However, university officials also said the decision to fire Rodriguez was “based on several factors, including the direction and climate of our football program.” According to the statement, the Arizona athletic department had “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.”

In his statement, Rodriguez admitted that “the complaint included a single truth.”

“In the past, I had a consensual extramarital affair with a woman who is not affiliated with the University,” he writes. “It was wrong, and I have apologized to my wife and family.”

The former Michigan and West Virginia coach leaves Arizona with an overall record of 43-35 after six years at the helm. 

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