For those of you who thought the head coach portion of the coaching carousel had stopped spinning, think again.
Dan Wolken of USA Today is reporting that Arizona is weighing whether or not to fire Rich Rodriguez as its head football coach. The development stems from Rodriguez being investigated for “potential workplace misconduct” by an outside law firm hired by the university. “Though no misconduct was determined by the probe, which Rodriguez cooperated with fully,” Wolken wrote, “a former administrative assistant subsequently has threatened to file a lawsuit against him.”
Should that lawsuit be filed, and given the current climate when it comes to the mistreatment of women, the university in general and the football program in particular could come under heavy fire for retaining Rodriguez even as the investigation did not show any type of misconduct on the coach’s part.
According to Wolken’s report, if the decision is made to fire Rodriguez, it would be done without cause, meaning he would be entitled to a buyout of just north of $6 million. Also of note, Rodriguez would be due $3 million in the form of a retention bonus.
In six seasons at UA, the former West Virginia and Michigan head coach has gone 43-35. Entering the 2017 season on the hot seat coming off a 3-9 2016 campaign, Rodriguez had, at least on the field, seemingly saved his job with a 7-6 record even as the Wildcats dropped four of their last five games. If Rodriguez is dismissed, that late-season swoon will likely be the official reason given for the move, Wolken reported.