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Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)
Arizona has fired football coach Rich Rodriguez after a notice of claim was filed with the state attorney general's office alleging he ran a hostile workplace.
The Arizona Daily Star revealed the notice of claim on Tuesday after making a public-records request. The paper said the claim was filed last Thursday by a former employee. A notice of claim is a legal document that signals a lawsuit will be filed.
The Daily Star reported that the notice was filed after the University's Office of Institutional Equity retained outside counsel to investigate allegations of sexual harassment from a former employee. The investigation, which concluded last week, did not find enough to fire Rodriguez, but the university became concerned with the "climate and direction" of the program.
Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke announced Rodriguez's firing in a statement issued by the school and said the separation terms of his contract will be honored.
Rodriguez arrived in Tucson after an ugly split with Michigan, where he coached for three seasons. He had an immediate impact on the Wildcats, leading them to four straight bowl games.
Arizona took a step back in 2016, losing eight straight games while finishing 3-9. The Wildcats were one of college football's more surprising teams this season after opening 6-2. They fell flat after that, losing four of their final five, including a 38-35 setback against Purdue in the Holiday Bowl.
Rodriguez was 43-39 in six seasons at Arizona.
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