Top 5: The five biggest news stories to hit campus in 2017-2018

Simon Asher | The Daily Wildcat Arizona mens basketball head coach Sean Miller shouts a play onto the court in the Arizona-USC Championship game at the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday, March 10 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

1. Book Richardson FBI investigation 

On the morning of September 26, 2017 Emanuel "Book" Richardson was taken into FBI custody for corruption and fraud charges. 

His arrest kicked off a string of events that eventually led to an ESPN article accusing Sean Miller of allegedly paying a player, reportedly Deandre Ayton. Miller was subsequently suspended for a road game at Oregon.

After a March 1 press conference in which Miller denied all wrong-doing, he returned to the sideline as head coach for the remainder of the season.

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Despite the seriousness of the investigation, President Dr. Robert Robbins and Athletic Director Dave Heeke stood behind Miller. 

In April, the Arizona Board of Regents decided to amend Miller’s contract,  a measure that would punitively punish Miller to the tune of $1 million, taken from a longevity fund, if he is found to have violated major NCAA rules or is indicted on criminal charges. 

Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez looks onto his team towards the end of the UA-USC game.

2. Rich Rod fired, and the aftermath

On Jan. 2 2018, head football coach Rich Rodriguez was fired for several factors relating to the direction and climate of the football program, according to a UA press release.  

The termination came four days after a notice of claim was filed with the Arizona Attorney's General office by a former personal assistant alleging instances of sexual harassment.

The former assistant’s allegations included harassment, unwanted touching, an attempt to pay her off with $300 and more, according to the notice of claim.

The UA has paid the remaining $6.28 million of Rodriguez’s contract. 

Rodriguez has filed a counter notice of claim against his accuser, alleging that she and her attorney, Augustine Jimenez III, attempted to blackmail Rodriquez to the tune of $7.5 million. 

Craig Carter, Former Arizona assistant coach for track and field.

3. Craig Carter trial

Craig Carter, former track and field assistant coach for the University of Arizona, was found guilty of assault and aggravated assault with a weapon on Friday, March 30, after an encounter with a student-athlete in which he choked her, threw her and threatened her by putting a box-cutter to her throat.

After the March 30 verdict, an editorial from the Daily Wildcat Editorial Board said the UA needs to send a strong message that, “harmful, destructive or violent behavior will not be accepted in any way, shape or form.”

Carter was also charged with domestic-violence-related stalking and disruption of an educational institution for assaulting Gibson outside of a classroom on April 29, 2015. Carter plead guilty to those charges on April 30.

Former UA Honors Dean, Patricia MacCorquodale. In January, MacCorquodale filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents, alleging widespread, gender-based pay discrepancies.

4. Honors Dean Title IX Law Suit

The issue of gender pay discrepancies at the UA came up Jan. 22 when Patricia MacCorquodale, the former University of Arizona Honors College Dean, sued the Arizona Board of Regents for $2 million, alleging gender pay discrepancies at the UA. 

MacCorquodale's attorneys allege "that ABOR dramatically underpaid Dr. MacCorquodale during her tenure as Honors College dean relative to male deans at the university and to her male successors at the Honors College.” 

The lawsuit, brought under the Equal Pay Act, was recently joined by Janice Cervelli, former dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. Cervelli alleges the UA refused to give her a single pay raise while she served as dean from 2008 to 2016. 

Additionally, MacCorquodale's lawsuit names former UA Provost Andrew Comrie, claiming the Dean’s Council, which he chaired, "is primarily composed of men’ and alleged he ‘inappropriately criticized [a female dean's] appearance, stating she should wear skirts more often.’"

Comrie, following the lawsuit, stepped down from his position as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Red For Ed protesters stand on the corner of Broadway and Downtown in Tucson holding signs and advocating for change. Students, staff, teachers and administrations from schools all across Arizona participated in the protests.

5. Red for Ed

Red for Ed, a teacher movement in Arizona demanding fair teacher pay and educational funding, has been a prominent movement in recent months, with walkouts that have made national headlines. 

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The movement ended just this Thursday when Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and lawmakers passed a state budget plan promising “a key provision granting teachers an average 19 percent pay increase within three years,” according to an Arizona Daily Star article. 

In an Appril 19 Daily Wildcat article, Mallory Anderson, an elementary school teacher in Tucson discussed the every-day struggles to make a living in Arizona as a teacher. 

“Basically, what we make on a month average is below what is considered livable means even in Tucson, so it’s pretty much a struggle,” Anderson said. 

The community; however, has banded together in support of teachers around the state, supporting walkouts that have lasted for days. 

Now that the walkout have ended, the public awaits to see if Gov. Ducey’s promises will help in the improvement of Arizona public school education.

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