A lawsuit filed against the University of Arizona in October alleging Title IX violations may soon have an additional defendant: former football coach Rich Rodriguez.
According to Caitlin Schmidt of the Arizona Daily Star, a motion has been filed to include Rodriguez in a suit brought by a woman who had been assaulted by former Wildcats football player Orlando Bradford in 2016. Bradford was sentenced to five years in prison in November after being convicted on two counts of assault.
The woman alleges that the school was aware of Bradford’s history of domestic abuse prior to coming to Arizona in 2015. He was arrested in September 2016, and at that time Rodriguez, per Schmidt, told reporters: “We have a rule. You put your hands on a woman, you’re done. That’s it. If you did it, if you put your hands on a woman in any way, shape or form, you’re done.”
The amended complaint filed last week seeks to add Rodriguez to the suit after details emerged from claims made by Rodriguez’s former assistant of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. Among her claims were that Rodriguez had created a “hideaway book” that included the statement “Title IX doesn’t exist in our office.”
Rodriguez was fired by Arizona on Jan. 2, the same day his former assistant’s notice of claim — a precursor to a lawsuit against a state institution — became public. The school said it couldn’t substantiate the ex-assistant’s claims, but during the course of its internal investigation discovered other things related to the football program’s climate that prompted it to terminate Rodriguez without cause.
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