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Rich Rodriguez Claims Former Assistant Tried To Extort Him For $7.5 Million

Rich Rodriguez isn't happy with a play.

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Head coache 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)

Fired Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has some pretty explosive allegations against the ex-assistant that has accused him of harassment.

Rodriguez was abruptly fired in early January, after a "thorough evaluation of (Arizona's) football program and its leadership, both on and off the field." The decision came after a notice of claim was filed by former assistant Melissa Wilhelmsen.

Wilhelmsen has raised claims of sexual harassment against the former Wildcats coach, as well as other explosive allegations. From the Phoenix Business Journal:

On February 22, 2017, Rodriguez called Melissa into office, again telling her to close the door. After closing the door, Melissa looked up in horror to see Rodriguez grasping his penis beneath his basketball shorts which were pulled all the way up. Rodriguez carried on a normal conversation with Melissa while still holding himself, but Melissa just looked down until he was through talking, so she could get out of there. Once Rodriguez had finished, Melissa darted to the restroom and recalled asking herself, “What the f*** just happened?” Eventually she returned to her desk, where Rodriguez leaned over her to start up another conversation. Melissa called Matt Dudek about the incident and they both begin calling him “the predator.”

Another allegation against Rodriguez was that during one game, he had his wife and mistress on the sideline. Wilhelmsen says that she was made to separate the two women to avoid an altercation.

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.

According to the Arizona Republic, Rodriguez says that Wilhelmsen and her attorney Augustine Jimenez threatened the lawsuit in December, looking for "several million dollars" to make the claims go away. Rodriguez's team says that the suits came after a deadline directly before the Foster Farms Bowl passed.

Former University of Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez claims an ex-employee and her attorney tried to extort several million dollars from him, and threatened to go public with claims of sexual harassment and an extramarital affair if he didn't pay.

Rodriguez, fired in January as a lurid sex-harassment claim against him became public, accuses his ex-assistant, Melissa Wilhelmsen, of fabricating a tale of sexual harassment solely to extort $7.5 million — the same amount she now is seeking in a legal claim with the state.

The legal filing from Rodriguez's team called the timing of the alleged demand "vicious, cut-throat, and explainable only as the ultimate threat to extort Coach and Mrs. Rodriguez of the $7.5 million." The Arizona Republichas much more on what has turned into an even more ugly legal battle.