Ex-Cincinnati assistant coach resigned over airplane assault allegation

Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis resigned in September over assault allegations, though the school originally said he retired. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)
Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis resigned in September over assault allegations, though the school originally said he retired. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

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 September 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.

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. 15-27. 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 2017-18 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 his termination went into effect. The school has not explained why it 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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