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College Football Coach Accuses Rival Of Spying On Practices

Rich Rodriguez isn't happy with a play.

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Arizona Wildcats reacts on the sidelines during the second half of the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Wildcats 42-30 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jacksonville State head coach Rich Rodriguez accused his upcoming opponent of espionage.

Per Johnny Congdon of ABC 33/40 News, Rodriguez claimed that this Sunday's "Week Zero" adversary, Stephen F. Austin, inappropriately scouted his team during the spring game.

"Pretty good sources that they had a couple staff members at our spring game,” Rodriguez said. “That’s not really supposed to happen. But we’re making plans accordingly, you know, so if they’re over there thinking they have our plays or what have you, signals or something like that, we’ve changed things since the spring."

Rodriguez, who previously spent 16 seasons coaching West Virginia, Michigan, and Arizona, added that his daughter recently spotted them spying on Jacksonville State's practice. He directed Cru Birdyshaw to intimidate the intruder.

"Then we caught him again, saw him peering through there with his camera," Rodriguez added. "I sent the biggest guy in the program, ‘Cru,’ he’s one of our assistant strength coaches. He’s about like 6’7”, 350, probably benches like a thousand pounds or something. Sent him up the bleachers to run him out, and that guy disappeared pretty quick."

Rodriguez is having an eventful start to his first year with the FCS program. It marks his first head-coaching job since Arizona fired him in 2018 amid a sexual harassment allegation. A lawsuit also accusing him of creating a hostile work environment was dismissed last year.

His Gamecocks will begin the se the Lumberjacks this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.