Ex-Arizona QB: University has a double standard with Rich Rodriguez, Sean Miller

The Dagger
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaab/players/127330/" data-ylk="slk:Matt Scott">Matt Scott</a> and Rich Rodriguez chat on the sideline during an Arizona football game in September 2012. (Getty Images)
Matt Scott and Rich Rodriguez chat on the sideline during an Arizona football game in September 2012. (Getty Images)

Incensed over the abrupt firing of Rich Rodriguez late Tuesday night, former Arizona quarterback Matt Scott took an interesting approach to defending his ex-coach.

Scott unleashed a string of tweets complaining about a perceived double standard between how the school quickly cut Rodriguez loose amid one scandal yet has supported basketball coach Sean Miller through another.


Arizona fired Rodriguez after six seasons in the wake of a sexual harassment allegation the university began investigating in October. A former administrative assistant to Rodriguez on Thursday filed a $7.5 million notice of claim alleging that the coach made her uncomfortable by forcing her to keep his extramarital affair a secret while also groping and attempting to kiss her.

Rodriguez issued a statement Tuesday night in which he admitted to having an extramarital affair but denied the alleged harassment, calling the claims “baseless and false.” Arizona couldn’t substantiate the claims against Rodriguez during its internal investigation, but university president Robert C. Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement Tuesday night that they did become aware of other information that caused them to be “concerned with the direction and climate of the football program.”

“While this is a difficult decision, it is the right decision,” Robbins and Heeke said in the statement. “And it is a decision that lives up to the core values of the University of Arizona.”

The firing of Rodriguez comes only three months after Robbins and Heeke chose to back Miller even after Arizona’s basketball program became ensnared in the FBI’s investigation into corruption and bribery in college hoops.

Arizona assistant Book Richardson was one of 10 men arrested in late September in connection with the federal investigation. A federal complaint alleged that Richardson received $20,000 in bribes in exchange for steering current Wildcats to a sports agent and used some of that money to bribe recruits to play for Arizona.

Robbins explained in an October 3 statement that Arizona was retaining Miller because he “has not been charged with, nor accused of any misconduct and he has been fully cooperative and supportive of our efforts to determine the facts in pursuit of the truth.”

“Based on the facts that we know at this time, we support Coach Miller and intend to provide him with all of the tools necessary to meet our goals and expectations,” Robbins added.

When an Arizona fan noted that the school’s lenience with Miller might have something to do with his winning track record, Scott bristled.



Miller quickly brought stability to a proud yet floundering basketball program when he arrived eight-plus years ago, leading the Wildcats to a 231-69 record so far and six appearances in the Sweet 16 or beyond. His current team began this season in the top three of most of the major polls and is favored to win the Pac-12 title.

Rodriguez’s track record is less impressive, albeit at a school with a far less glorious history on the football field than the basketball court. He finished 43-35 in six seasons as coach of the Wildcats, but averaged fewer than six wins over the past three seasons.

 

Scott flourished in his lone season as quarterback under Rodriguez. He passed for more than 3,000 yards, threw for 21 touchdowns and led Arizona to a victory in the 2012 New Mexico Bowl.

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Jeff Eisenberg is a college basketball writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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