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May 31, 2013 3:43 PM by Matthew Schwartz

UA coach arraigned on assault charge

TUCSON - A University of Arizona coach was arraigned in Pima County Court today on a charge of assaulting a student. Frank Davis, 31, did not appear and was not required to. His attorney, Michelle Mozdzen, entered a not guilty plea on Davis' behalf.

Mozdzen told us, "We advised him not to be present. We entered the not guilty plea. It's still very early in the case and we're not going to comment on specifics."

It's a story the News 4 Tucson Investigators reported exclusively on May 29.

Following the University of Arizona's brutal home loss to rival Arizona State last November, Davis, a Wildcats assistant strength and conditioning coach, allegedly punched and body-slammed a football team student assistant. The student, Brandon Santa-Cruz, told says Davis became enraged because he didn't know what was in the postgame meal boxes.

Santa-Cruz told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "He started yelling at me like, you're a ‘p----.' You don't know what you're doing around here."

Then Davis allegedly got physical with the 21-year-old rising senior, who he outweighs by about a hundred pounds.

It happened near the north end zone of the field. The official UA Police Department report says an unidentified Pima County Sheriff's Deputy saw the altercation, and walked over to ask Santa-Cruz if he was ok when he was still on the ground. He said he was, but the report says he told investigators he sustained a bruised sternum and a clothing burn mark on the back of his neck. The report also states that Santa-Cruz turned both photos over to the UA's Human Resources Department. Santa-Cruz also emailed us the photo of the burn mark.

Coach Davis was suspended by the UA with pay shortly after the alleged assault. We have learned that his contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of June.

We asked Santa-Cruz why he waited until recently to file the charge since the incident happened last November. He said he did not want to file the charge or come forward at all, but he was upset the university did not fire Davis by now, or at least suspend him without pay.

His attorney has filed a complaint with the University, which gives UA six months to respond. A lawsuit could then be filed.

Santa-Cruz said, "In a regular 9 to 5 job, you touch someone in this manner, and you get fired on the spot. Coach Davis is still getting paid more than six months after this happened."

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