UA President speaks on decision to fire Rich Rodriguez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - On Monday, University of Arizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins gave new perspective and information regarding the termination of Rich Rodriguez.

Robbins told KGUN-9’s Kevin Boughton the University takes sexual harassment seriously but reiterated he had considered making the change before a former University employee’s attorney filed a notice of claim accusing Rodriguez of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

Robbins says the team’s performance played into his decision and he and Athletic Director Dave Heeke consulted about Rodriguez’s future before making a move.

“We wanted to look to the future, and we're enthusiastic about our new coach, that we're in the process of looking for, and hopefully we'll find one soon,” Robbins said.

Heeke took over as UA’s Athletic Director in April 2017, and Robbins started as UA’s President in June.

“I’m looking for everybody we hire to have a positive culture and have a respectful work place and we're just not going to have any toleration of sexual harassment,” Robbins said the school is still searching for its next football head coach.

The University fired Rodriguez last week following his sixth season as head coach of the Wildcats. The same night Rodriguez was terminated the school confirmed a former employee in the football office accused Rodriguez of making an unwanted sexual advance toward her and creating a hostile work environment.

The notice of claim seeks from $7,500,000 from Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has denied those claims, and an internal investigation commissioned by the University found that he didn’t violate any institutional policies. 

Robbins says the woman accusing Rodriguez did not cooperate with the University’s investigation..

 

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