ARIZONA (WDTV)- According to CBS Sports, Rich Rodriguez was fired from the University of Arizona Tuesday night. Rodriguez later confirmed the news, saying he was informed via email that the Wildcats would be buying out his contract.
All of this information comes from CBS, who says the Wildcats lost four of their last five games this season, but a report indicated that an off-field allegation regarding workplace conduct was also a part of the university's decision.
"After conducting a thorough evaluation of our football program and its leadership, both on and off the field, President [Robert] Robbins and I feel it is in the best interest of the University of Arizona and our athletics department to go in a new direction," athletic director Dave Heeke said in a release.
Rodriguez explained via Twitter that a former administrative assistant threatened to file a $7.5 million lawsuit against him alleging harassment. He said an outside investigation by the school found no wrongdoing. He claimed he fully cooperated with the investigation, which lasted 10 weeks and included the coach voluntarily submitting to and passing a polygraph test.
In the same statement, Rodriguez admitted to a "consensual extramarital affair with a woman who is not affiliated with the University."
In October 2017, the University's Office of Institutional Equity retained outside counsel to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Rodriguez, after a former employee in the Department of Athletics alleged that Mr. Rodriguez harassed her on multiple occasions.
After her initial report to the University in October, the former employee retained counsel and declined multiple requests from the University to participate in the investigation into her allegations.
She was unwilling to turn over communications that she alleged provided support for her allegations and recently filed a notice of a financial claim against Mr. Rodriguez. The investigation concluded on December 28 and found that the original specific harassment allegations against Mr. Rodriguez could not be substantiated based on the evidence and witnesses available to it.
However, Arizona Athletics did 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.
Rodriguez, 54, had a 45-35 record in six seasons as the Wildcats coach, leading the team to five bowl games and one Pac-12 South title since arriving in Tucson. He was on Dennis Dodd's hot seat rankings to begin the 2017 season, though his status cooled due in large part to the emergence of quarterback Khalil Tate.
Rodriguez is a former West Virginia University coach and a Grant Town native.