There’s drama in the Grand Canyon State.
Arizona State basketball coach Bobby Hurley has accused athletic director Ray Anderson of “disturbing” actions dealing with harassment allegations.
The allegations are against a prominent athletic booster, Bart Wear, in a December email.
According to reports, Hurley emailed Anderson on Dec. 8 to express his displeasure with the way the athletic director handled sexual harassment allegations by three women.
One of the women included Hurley’s wife, Leslie.
The allegations are that Wear sexually harassed Leslie Hurley, Kathy Cohen, the wife of former Arizona State senior associate athletic director David Cohen; and one other woman.
“I thought there would be more sensitivity and consideration to all victims involved relative to [redacted]’s attendance at our basketball game. … You had prior knowledge that he was going to be in attendance and that was very disappointing,” Hurley wrote to Anderson in an email.
“Mainly because you made no effort to make me aware of that, especially after you came to practice on Thursday and assured me that [redacted] would no longer be around men’s basketball. This was very misleading and I feel I have been lied to.”
In addition, Hurley went on to accuse Anderson of judging the alleged assaults on a scale.
“You have disregarded the safety and shown no sensitivity towards the women that have experienced sexual assault,” Hurley wrote. “You have chosen to create your own numeric scale on what sexual assault mean[s] which is disturbing.”
According to documents obtained by Yahoo!, Anderson responded four hours later.
“Clearly, you have made judgements and conclusions, not to mention false and baseless allegations,” Anderson wrote. “Your approach here is puzzling. This matter should now be firmly put in the hands of the lawyers. I will not engage with you directly on the [redacted] matters.”
Arizona State has acknowledged its slow response to the allegations.
According to reports, Wear’s season tickets were being canceled on Dec. 10.
David Cohen says he was placed on administrative leave then fired in December. Cohen complained that the athletics department covered up Wear’s alleged inappropriate behavior.
Cohen filed a $1.5 million claim against Arizona State in February for lost wages and pain, suffering and emotional harm.
What Did Wear Do?
Cohen alleged that his wife was trying to pass Wear in an aisle on her way to a restroom. Wear allegedly put his hands on Cohen’s wife’s waist and moved up the side of her body. He allegedly told her, “Dave is lucky to have you.”
The incident allegedly occurred at the Sun Devils’ game at the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas on March 14, 2019.
In addition, another woman accused Wear of rubbing her back, asking inappropriate questions, and put his hand on her leg.
Wear denies the allegations.
Arizona State officials said Cohen wasn’t fired in retaliation for reporting Wear’s behavior. Arizona State said Cohen was fired for refusing to cooperate with a department reorganization and “prior instances of poor behavior.”
Wear is an Arizona State alumnus and investor. He filed a $5 million claim against the university in May, alleging an independent investigation into his behavior by a law firm ignored witnesses and relevant information.
According to the university, the external investigation did not conclude that the donor had grabbed anyone or sexually assaulted anyone. However, none of the three individuals claim that he had done so.
However, the investigation did conclude that the donor had subjected three individuals to unwelcome comments and physical contact.
Hurley took over in Tempe in 2015. He went to back-to-back NCAA tournaments in 2018 and 2019 and was on track to go for a third straight time in 2020 before the NCAA tournament was canceled.
Anderson was named Arizona State’s athletic director in 2014.