Ex-Cincinnati assistant coach resigned over airplane assault allegation

In mid September, the University of Cincinnati announced that associate head basketball coach Larry Davis would be retiring after 12 years with the program. But it turns out that Davis didn’t actually retire.

According to James Pilcher of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Davis, 62, has been accused of assaulting a woman on an airplane in 2017, and is due in federal court on Thursday for a plea hearing. Davis didn’t retire, but hastily resigned after the school had started the process to terminate his employment.

Inappropriate touching on an airplane

According to Fox 19 in Cincinnati, Davis was on a flight from Wisconsin to North Carolina in Sept. 2017 when the incident took place. Fox 19 obtained a court document titled “Factual Basis,” which sets out the details of what happened.

“On September 12, 2017, the defendant, Larry Allen Davis, was a passenger on American Airlines flight 4203 from Milwaukee, WI, to Charlotte North Carolina. While the aircraft was in flight, the defendant knowingly committed a simple assault against (victim’s initial’s) who had attained the age of 16. While the assault occurred, the aircraft was in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.”

Those details are not being disputed by Davis. The document is signed by both the Assistant U.S. Attorney for that division and by Dhamian Blue, Davis’ lawyer. Fox 19 reported that Blue signed at the section that reads “I hereby certify that the defendant does not dispute the Factual Basis.”

The victim is a 23-year-old woman from South Carolina, identified only as T.C. She filed an incident report with the police the day it happened, which said “she was inappropriately touched by the passenger seated next to her.” Since crimes that happen on airplanes are prosecuted in federal court, the police investigation was closed and turned over to the FBI.

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Former Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis
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Former Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis
LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 19: Interim head coach Larry Davis of the Cincinnati Bearcats reacts on the sideline against the Purdue Boilermakers during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the KFC YUM! Center on March 19, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 18: Associate head coach Larry Davis of the Cincinnati Bearcats looks on against the Xavier Musketeers during the game at Fifth Third Arena on February 18, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Xavier defeated Cincinnati 59-57. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
10 Feb 2015: Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Larry Davis sends words of encouragement to his team during the NCAA men's basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Temple Owls played at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 16: Head coach Mick Cronin of the Cincinnati Bearcats looks on alongside assistant coaches Larry Davis (left) and Darren Savino (right) during a game against the Coppin State Eagles at BB&T Arena on November 16, 2017 in Highland Heights, Kentucky. Cincinnati won 97-54. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 29: Associate head coach Larry Davis of the Cincinnati Bearcats tries to restrain Troy Caupain #10 after he was called for a technical foul during the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Fifth Third Arena on January 29, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Connecticut 70-58. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 25: The Cincinnati coaching staff wears sneakers as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers Week, during an NCAA basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the UCF Knights at the CFE Arena on January 25, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. Cincinnati won the game by a score of 56-46. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 20: Associate head coach Larry Davis of the Cincinnati Bearcats looks on against the VCU Rams during the game at Fifth Third Arena on December 20, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. VCU defeated Cincinnati 68-47. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin, center, holds his head in his hands as he is flanked by assistant coaches Larry Davis, left, and Darren Savino, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, in Highland Heights, Ky. Cincinnati won 77-49.(AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis reacts to the moderator during a press conference at the NCAA college basketball tournament in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, March 18, 2015. , Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Cincinnati plays Purdue in the second round on Thursday. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis directs his team against UCF in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 83-60. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

In a recent interview with Fox 19, the victim’s father discussed his daughter’s assault.

“The disturbing part of it is after he exited the plane he changed clothes and tried to hide in one of the shops in the Charlotte airport. When the police found him and asked him what his name was, he gave them an alias name but when they went back to the manifest that name was not on that flight.”

Cincinnati’s response

Several days after the incident, the Enquirer reported that Cincinnati suspended Davis with pay from Sept. 15 through 27. In a statement, Cincinnati athletic director Mike Bohn said “we immediately took proactive measures and suspended him from his duties while we took additional steps to ascertain more information. We could not substantiate the allegations at that time.” Davis returned to work for the 2017-2018 season.

What changed? In the statement, Bohn said “we recently learned that the allegations may have additional support.” That’s when they “commenced the process for separation.” It’s not clear when the school learned that, but Davis’ upcoming court appearance and plea agreement (which has been sealed) most likely played a part. 

Rather than be fired by the school, Davis resigned. According to the Enquirer, he wrote a two-sentence resignation letter to Bohn and sent it at 10:51pm, just 69 minutes before it went into effect. The school has not explained why they chose to say that Davis had retired when he had actually resigned.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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