/ Modified jan 4, 2018 1:29 p.m.

UA Fires Football Coach Rodriguez

UPDATE: Arizona Board of Regents chairman calls for review of multi-year athletic coach contracts.

UA_Tailgate_RichRod_617x347 Former University of Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez greets fans as he leads the team into the stadium, 2012.
Mitchell Riley, AZPM

The University of Arizona has fired head football coach Rich Rodriguez.

"The decision is based on several factors, including the direction and climate of our football program," a statement from the university sent Tuesday night read.

The statement said the University had hired outside law firm Cohen Dowd Quigley to conduct an investigation in October into allegations that Rodriguez had sexually harassed a former athletics department staff member.

The investigation concluded on Dec. 28, and found that the original harassment allegations could not be substantiated. The University statement also said the former staffer did not cooperate with the investigation.

"However, Arizona Athletics did become aware of information, both before and during the investigation, which caused it to be concerned with the direction and climate of the football program," the statement read.

Rodriguez responded with a statement on Twitter Tuesday night.

"I was deeply disappointed to learn by email this evening that the University of Arizona is buying out my contract," Rodriguez said in the tweet.

On Wednesday, the chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents called for a review of multi-year athletic coach contracts.

The Regents oversee the state's three public universities, and many high-profile coaches at the U of A and Arizona State University have multi-year contracts worth millions of dollars.

Regents Chairman Bill Ridenour said in a statement Wednesday those contracts need to be reviewed for transparency.

"If the Arizona Board of Regents is going to continue to approve these multi-year athletic contracts, we must be sure the process is transparent and accountable to the public," Ridenour wrote in a statement. "I have recently directed board staff to review multiple-year policies and guidelines to determine opportunities to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the process."

Ridenour also praised the University of Arizona for the decision to fire Rodriguez.

"The decision reinforces the board’s high expectations for leadership on and off the field," Ridenour wrote.

Rodriguez said the complaint was made by his former administrative assistant, who had threatened a $7.5 million lawsuit.

Rodriguez said the investigation turned up evidence of a past extramarital affair he had with a woman who is not affiliated with the UA.

"I am still working incredibly hard to repair the bonds I've broken and regain the trust of my wife and children," he wrote in the statement.

The university said it would honor the terms of Rodriguez's contract.

Rodriguez was due $2,075,000 in salary for 2018, $2,175,000 for 2019 from the UA, along with annual peripheral duties compensation of $500,000 per year.

IMG Communications, which holds the television and radio rights for UA Athletics, was due to pay Rodriguez at least $200,000 a year. Nike, which holds exclusive rights to athletic apparel for the UA, was due to pay Rodriguez a similar amount.

"I am still working incredibly hard to repair the bonds I've broken and regain the trust of my wife and children" — former UA football coach Rich Rodriguez

The contract also includes other bonuses for meeting academic and athletic performance goals that could have paid Rodriguez a maximum of an extra $2 million.

Rodriguez is also due the balance of a retention fund and a longevity fund that is based on 175,000 shares of a publicly traded stock.

UA Athletics website now lists Defensive Coordinator Marcel Yates as interim head coach.

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