Former Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose will not return to Fox Sports this year, due to allegations of sexual misconduct with an underage girl in the 1970’s, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The move comes on the heels of a lawsuit that claims that Rose had a sexual relationship with an underage girl back in the 1970’s.
The allegation emerged as a result of a defamation suit Rose filed against attorney John Dowd, who was Major League Baseball’s outside legal counsel when Rose was handed a lifetime ban from baseball. Rose initiated the lawsuit against Dowd, after Dowd told a radio audience that Rose often had sex with underage women in the 1970’s and 80’s.
The specific sexual misconduct allegation figured as part of a motion Dowd filed on July 31. The filing alleged that Rose had a sexual relationship with a woman who was under the Ohio age of consent of 16. Rose admitted to the sexual relationship with the young girl but insists she was over 16 when the sex began.
During that period, the three-time World Series champion was a 34-year-old married man with two children. A statute of limitations precludes any prosecution for the incident.
Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated tweeted that such conduct could run afoul of the “morals clause” in Rose’s contract with Fox Sports:
Pete Rose's TV contract likely contains "morals clause" language that could be invoked to end deal on grounds of statutory rape allegation. https://t.co/vWugAhipHK
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) August 2, 2017
Fox Sports has not made any official announcement about cutting ties with the man once known as “Charlie Hustle.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.