College football: Ex-aide to Rodriguez seeks $7.5 million
A claim filed by the former assistant to fired Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez says he walked around the office in his underwear, fondled himself in front of her and forced her to cover up an extramarital affair he had with another woman.
The claim seeking damages against Rodriguez was filed by an attorney for the former assistant and her husband and is a required precursor to a lawsuit against a government official. It was released Wednesday by the Arizona attorney general’s office.
Lawyer Augustine Jimenez III is seeking a $7.5-million settlement for his client, saying in the claim that jurors who might consider a lawsuit against a coach who misused his power could award tens of millions of dollars “in this current climate where #MeToo is in the headlines.” Jimenez didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.
Arizona fired Rodriguez on Tuesday. The school said it began an investigation in October after receiving a sexual harassment complaint against him, but could not substantiate the claims because the woman declined to be interviewed. Rodriguez denied the former assistant’s allegations but acknowledged he had an affair.
The claim outlines a series of incidents beginning in 2015 where assistants were put in difficult positions involving the woman Rodriguez was seeing and the coach’s wife. Numerous incidents were detailed where she was required to lie to Rodriguez’s wife.
It also detailed multiple incidents of untoward actions by Rodriguez toward the woman, including walking past her in his underwear, describing how he liked tight briefs, touching her breast and fondling himself under his shorts after calling her into his office. The woman’s name is included in the claim but the Associated Press generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual misconduct.
Washington State defensive tackle Hercules Mata’afa, Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz and Oregon State running back Ryan Nall are among Pac-12 players who announced they are entering the NFL draft early.
Other notables include Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Auburn tailback Kamryn Pettway, Florida tight end Ryan Izzo and Tennessee defensive back Rashaan Gaulden.
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