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Documents show dissension between Bobby Hurley, Arizona State AD over booster controversy

Documents show dissension between Bobby Hurley, Arizona State AD over booster controversy

Hurley and his AD are at odds over the handling of harassment allegations tied to a prominent booster

Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley accused athletic director Ray Anderson of "disturbing" handling of harassment allegations levied against a prominent booster, causing dissent among the ASU ranks last December.

According to documents reported Wednesday by Yahoo Sports, Hurley took umbrage with Anderson's handling of the allegations made by three wives of ASU staff members — including Hurley's spouse, Leslie — after Anderson created a numerical scale rating the egregiousness of the alleged harassment.

"Maybe in your words, the sexual assault committed by [redacted] was a 2 or a 3, but if this had happened to Buffie or Kimmy, would it still be a level 2 or 3?" Hurley wrote. "You have chosen to create your own numeric scale on what sexual assault mean(s) which is disturbing."

Hurley also accused Anderson of not considering the alleged victims and of deceiving him about the booster and his involvement with the men's basketball program.

"I thought there would be more sensitivity and consideration to all victims involved relative to [redacted]'s attendance at our basketball game," Hurley wrote. "You had prior knowledge that he was going to be in attendance and that was very disappointing. 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."

Anderson responded to Hurley's lengthy email hours later by refuting the accusations, saying he made "false and baseless allegations."

"Your approach here is puzzling," Anderson added, according to emails obtained by Yahoo. "This matter should now be firmly put in the hands of the lawyers. I will not engage with you directly on the [redacted] matters. Kim Demarchi, our counsel handling the [redacted] matters, is copied here."

The exchange between Hurley and Anderson relates to prominent booster Bart Wear, who ASU found in February made "unwelcome comments and physical contact" with the women who made the allegations. Wear's season tickets were canceled on Dec. 10 — two days after the email thread between the ASU AD and its coach. Wear has since filed a $5 million claim against ASU, calling the investigation a "hatchet job" and accusing the university of reputation damage and making false statements, per AZCentral.com.

Other fallout internally from the investigation includes the firing of former senior associate athletic director, David Cohen, who oversaw the men's basketball program. Cohen says he was fired after reporting the sexual harassment from Wear and has since filed a $1.5 million claim against the university. Cohen's wife was among those who accused the booster of harassment, and he says his firing was a retaliatory action after reporting the conduct in March 2019.

Arizona State has refuted that was the source of Cohen's firing, and Wear refutes he committed any harassment.

Hurley has been with the Sun Devils since 2015 and amassed a 93-69 overall record, with three consecutive 20+ win seasons.

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