Daughter of former UA coach questions accuser's motives

Daughter of former UA coach questions accuser's motives
The University of Arizona fired football coach Rich Rodriguez on Tuesday, Jan. 2. (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The daughter of former University of Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez took to Twitter to support her father and to say thank you for the outpouring of support she and her family have received.

Raquel Rodriguez's tweet, sent at 1 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 4, also questions the motives of Melissa Wilhelmsen, the woman who has accused Rich Rodriguez of sexual harassment.

"First off, I would like to say thank you to all the people that have reached out and supported myself and my family. It means the world to me and words cannot fully express my gratitude," Raquel wrote in the tweet. "Second of all, I want to address the false and ridiculous claims of sexual harassment made by Melissa Wilhelmsen about my family and other people involved in the program. It specifically breaks my heart that my mother and I were extremely nice and supportive to her at all times and did nothing but treat her with respect, yet it seems to have meant nothing to her. I will never understand her actions. She is hurting my entire family, the other staff members and their families, the Arizona football team, the entire university, and sadly all true victims of sexual harassment.

"I have (a) text conversation between her and I the day she announced she was leaving the program. You be the judge whether or not this was a woman that hated going to work every day in such a 'hostile environment.'"

This is allegedly the text conversation between Raquel Rodriguez and Melissa Wilhelmsen from the day Wilhelmsen announced she was leaving the University of Arizona football program. Wilhelmsen has accused Raquel's father, former Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez, of sexual harassment. (Source: Raquel Rodriguez / Twitter)

Later Thursday, Rich Rodriguez's son Rhett also took to twitter to question Wilhelmsen's motives.

Rich Rodriguez was fired Tuesday, Jan. 2, a week after Wilhelmsen's notice of claim was filed with the state attorney general's office alleging he ran a hostile workplace. A notice of claim is a legal document that signals a lawsuit will be filed.

Wilhelmsen, Rich Rodriguez's former administrative assistant, is seeking a $7.5 million settlement.

READ MORE: Explosive allegations in complaint against ex-UA coach I Wildcat fans shocked by firing of head football coach I Rodriguez departure talk of town on sports radio I Report: Les Miles, Arizona 'mutually interested' in each other.

Rich Rodriguez has fought back against Wilhelmsen's allegations.

"The University initiated a thorough outside investigation," Rodriguez said in a statement made on Twitter. "I full cooperated with the investigation, including voluntarily taking and passing a polygraph. The University determined that there was no truth to her accusations and found me innocent of any wrongdoing."

In October, the University's Office of Institutional Equity retained outside counsel to investigate the allegations.

That investigation, which concluded last week, did not find enough to fire Rodriguez, but the university said it became concerned with the "climate and direction" of the program.

The school said Wilhelmsen refused to provide evidence to back up her claims or cooperate with the investigation in any way.

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