U. of Arizona Fires Football Coach Amid Sexual-Harassment Claim

The University of Arizona fired head football coach Rich Rodriguez late Tuesday, days after the filing of a $7.5 million notice of claim with the state attorney general that alleges the coach sexually harassed a former employee and ran a hostile work environment. Parts of the claim, obtained by the Arizona Daily Star, portray a culture in which secrecy was valued above all else. In it, the former employee alleges the existence of an internal guide called a “hideaway book” that detailed advice, including “Title IX doesn't exist in our office,” as well as a “Triangle of Secrecy” that involved assistant coaches who helped to cover up Rodriguez’s extramarital affair. Rodriguez, who said he was fired by email, acknowledged the affair but denies the harassment allegations. “I am not a perfect man,” he wrote on Twitter, “but the claims by my former assistant are simply not true and her demands for a financial settlement are outrageous.” University President Robert C. Robbins and Athletic Director Dave Heeke said late Tuesday: “While this is a difficult decision, it is the right decision.”