Football notes: Strength coach faces assault charges, Wildcats set series with Houston
Arizona football’s laundry list of woes since the Territorial Cup continued in May, when assistant strength and conditioning coach Frank Davis faces charges for assaulting a student manager.
After then No. 24 Arizona blew a 10-point lead and lost 41-34 to ASU, Davis and the manager got into a fight on Nov. 24, 2012, according to a University of Arizona Police Department report.
The student was handing out boxes of food when Davis asked him what was inside. The manager said he wasn’t sure and Davis said “quit being a pussy,” according to the plaintiff in the report.
The student said to leave him alone, to quit “bitching about it” and that he was not afraid of Davis.
“If you call me a bitch again I’m going to split your forehead open,” Davis said.
The student manager said Davis “sucker punched him in the chest” then picked him up and slammed him on a table that had water bottles on it. Two witnesses said in the police report that Davis pushed the manager, but did not punch him.
The student filed a complaint with Human Resources but was unsatisfied with its actions and decided to press charges.
The UAPD report said that a Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Officer reported that a “large black male” was walking away from the area and said “something like ‘Got to learn some fucking respect.’”
Davis told police that “I was attacked by the dude and I was defending myself.”
Davis said he tried to walk away and used the “least amount of force to stop him.”
In the report, the student said that Davis had previously “bullied” him. On May 9, UAPD issued Davis a citation for assault. Davis pleaded not guilty and has a Pima County Justice Court date on June 25.
A statement released by the UA’s Athletic Director Greg Byrne said the situation is a personnel issue and that they cannot comment.
“When dealing with personnel matters, we take each situation seriously. Personnel matters are not handled solely by the Athletics Department,” Byrne said. “As required by University policies and procedures, we involve appropriate campus departments. Unfortunately, we are not allowed by law to comment on personnel issues or the status of any particular case.”
KVOA News 4 Tucson reported that Davis was suspended by the UA with pay, but his contract will not be renewed after it expires in June.
Davis was an offensive lineman at South Florida from 2002-05. He played for three years for the Detroit Lions and then in the United Football League. He was hired by the UA in December 2011.
Arizona to begin series with Houston
Arizona football announced Tuesday a home-and-home series with Houston in 2017 and 2018.
The Wildcats will host the Cougars during the second week of the season in 2017 and then travel to Houston in 2018. The UA has not played the Cougars since 1986.
By that time Houston is projected to be in the new American Athletic Conference, which is the conference that will include the final few members of the old Big East.
Houston finished 5-7 last season in Conference USA last season but the school has had occasionally dominate seasons in its history. The Cougars went 13-1 in 2011 and only lost to Southern Miss in the C-USA Championship game.
UNLV game stays in Las Vegas
Even though Byrne announced in May that a move was likely, the game at UNLV will stay in Las Vegas after all.
Arizona was in negotiations to move their first road game of the year, Sept. 7 at UNLV, to University of Phoenix Stadium, but the Rebels announced the game will not move to the Phoenix area after all.
If the game had moved, the Wildcats would not have had to leave the state until late September. Still a UNLV trip is not especially daunting.
The Rebels lost 17-14 to NAU, an FCS team, last season in Las Vegas. UNLV’s average home attendance last year was 15,208 in the 37,000 seat Sam Boyd Stadium and the Rebels drew around 14,000 to 17,000 for their September games in 2012.
First batch of game times announced
Part of Arizona’s schedule came into focus after the first round of the Pac-12’s television selections were made.
The UA’s season opener on Friday Aug. 30 against NAU will be at 7 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. Also, Arizona’s Sept. 14 matchup with Texas-San Antonio will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks, but no time was announced.
Finally, the Thursday Oct. 10 game at USC was picked by Fox Sports 1, a new network that launches in August. Fox Sports 1 will replace the Speed Channel, so it’s not expected to have the same problems DirecTV customers faced with the Pac-12 Networks.
The UNLV game will be on CBS Sports Net at 7:30 p.m.
The Pac-12’s next batch of game times and television networks, starting with Arizona’s Sept. 28 trip to Washington, will be announced six or 12 days in advance.