Now former Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez was the latest figure in the sports world to be accused of sexual misconduct, and the juicy details are beginning to emerge.
Rodriquez’s former assistant Melissa Wilhelmsen was reportedly in charge of covering up his affair for him, even one time asking Melissa to arrange to have his wife and girlfriend on the Arizona sideline at the same time for a game.
According to Phoenix Business Journal, On November 6, 2015, Rodriguez asked Melissa to get a sideline pass for his “friend” for the USC game in Tucson, which turned out to be his girlfriend. During the game, Melissa realized that Rodriguez’s wife was also on the sideline. At some point Melissa had to stand between the two hoping to avoid a confrontation. The following Monday, Melissa complained to Rodriguez about how upsetting it was to be placed in that situation. Rodriguez laughed it off without acknowledging her stress or sense of betrayal to his wife.
Other allegations include “The Hideaway Book” and the “Triangle of Secrecy” being set up to help hide Rodriguez’s misdeeds. The woman was part of the triangle, and repeatedly expected to cover for Rodriguez while he had an extramarital affair. Players on the team sent the woman pictures of their genitals and when she asked Rodriguez to intervene, he ignored her. The woman caught Rodriguez “ogling” her and said, “No, you can’t do that … that’s not cool,” but she claims his behavior only got worse. Other coaches made inappropriate comments about the woman’s clothing and her daughter, who also worked for the football team, saying her daughter was having sex with players. Rodriguez changed his workout schedule so he would walk back to his office shirtless, and past the woman. The woman received a call complaining that Rodriguez had made unwanted sexual advances toward a massage therapist, but because of the “Triangle of Secrecy,” she was expected to conceal it. Rodriguez “embraced her, touched the side of her breast and tried to kiss her.” Two weeks later, he offered $300 to “take care of her,” but she refused. Rodriguez called the woman into his office and was “grasping his penis beneath his basketball shorts” during a conversation. The woman and another employee started referring to Rodriguez as “the predator,” and “Title IX doesn’t exist in this office” became a common joke.
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