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Former USF assistant part of WVU controversy

CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Former West Virginia football coach Rich Rodriguez said he would find a job at Michigan for a WVU athletic fundraiser being investigated over an alleged racist remark, according to a sworn affidavit obtained by the Associated Press.

Larry Aschebrook confronted Rodriguez and former assistant coach Calvin Magee, who was an assistant at Tampa Catholic High from 1990-95 and at USF from 1996-2002, after being informed of a West Virginia University investigation into Magee's accusation. Aschebrook has denied the remark.

Magee's agent said Aschebrook told Magee that he wouldn't have a chance at Rodriguez's former job because he is black.

In an affidavit dated March 25, Aschebrook said he called Rodriguez in Ann Arbor, Mich., and told Rodriguez and Magee that the allegations were going to ruin his career.

Aschebrook said in the affidavit that Rodriguez told him, "Don't worry about it. I'll get you a job up here. You've been loyal to me, I'll be loyal to you."

Rodriguez, who took over as coach at Michigan in December and hired Magee as an assistant, suggested Aschebrook could raise money for Michigan football and work at his camp.

"I then asked, 'Why are you guys messing with my career?' " Aschebrook said in the affidavit. "I'm not admitting to something that isn't true."

Rodriguez responded, "Like I said, I'll get you a job tomorrow. You'll be fine."

Aschebrook has taken a fundraising job at Arizona State.

Rodriguez and Magee didn't return calls Thursday.

Magee, a former Bucs tight end (1985-88), indicated he told Jennifer McIntosh, executive director of the Office of Social Justice who is investigating his allegation, that Aschebrook "had nothing to do with this," and that Magee's complaint was about treatment from athletic director Ed Pastilong and WVU president Mike Garrison.

In related news, the West Virginia University Foundation wants Rodriguez to pay $30,000 for dragging the organization into a lawsuit over his $4-million buyout clause. A motion filed Wednesday accuses Rodriguez's lawyers of a frivolous and unfounded attempt to make the foundation a third party to the case.

BCS UNDER FIRE: Three members of Congress want the Justice Department to investigate whether the Bowl Championship Series is an illegal enterprise. Reps. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., and Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, are introducing a resolution rejecting the bowl system as an illegal restriction on trade because only the largest universities compete in most of the major bowl games. The resolution would require Justice's antitrust division to investigate whether federal law is violated.

NEW MEXICO: Former assistants Lenny Rodriguez and Grady Stretz have been implicated in an academic fraud investigation, and both are expected to attend a NCAA infractions committee hearing in Indianapolis today. They are accused of helping four prospective student-athletes and one student-athlete improperly obtain credits.

Other sports

TRACK: Florida State will be without top sprinter Walter Dix when it goes for its fourth straight ACC men's title this weekend in Atlanta. Dix hurt his right hamstring during East Region qualifying Saturday.

BASKETBALL: Kansas stars Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur declared themselves eligible for the NBA draft, but Mario Chalmers remains undecided. … UCLA freshman center Kevin Love, projected as a lottery pick, said he will enter the draft. ... Louisville sophomore forward Earl Clark changed his mind and will return to the team. ... Kentucky junior guard Derrick Jasper said he is homesick for California and hasn't decided whether he'll return to UK. ... Tennessee women's assistant Nikki Caldwell was hired as UCLA coach. She was a guard at Tennessee from 1991-94, known for tough defense.

Former USF assistant part of WVU controversy 04/17/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 9:07am]

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