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SEATTLE — The University of Washington said Monday night that former football coach Rick Neuheisel's firing is final.

"The administrative process regarding Rick Neuheisel's termination has been concluded," a statement from the school said. "He has been terminated for cause as head football coach and is no longer employed by the University of Washington."

Neuheisel's lawyer, Bob Sulkin, said he, Neuheisel and Neuheisel's wife met briefly Monday night with Norm Arkans, special assistant to Washington's president, and were told the termination would not be rescinded.

Sulkin met earlier Monday with NCAA officials in Indianapolis.

"Rick's a fighter," Sulkin said Monday night when asked if his client would sue. He refused to discuss his next move in specifics, saying only, "He's determined to fight this thing so that the truth comes out."

Sulkin said Neuheisel would have no comment Monday night.

The university called a news conference for Tuesday morning to discuss the football program.

Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges announced June 12 she was firing Neuheisel, saying he broke NCAA rules against gambling by taking part in neighborhood pools on the past two NCAA basketball tournaments.

She also said he wasn't forthcoming when first questioned by NCAA investigators.

Neuheisel has maintained he didn't know he was breaking the rules, saying an athletic department memo from the school's compliance officer gave him permission to gamble with neighbors.

Offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson was placed in charge of supervising the football program's day-to-day operations last month.

The university had said it would wait until the Neuheisel matter was resolved before announcing who the Huskies' new head football coach would be.

The team begins practices Aug. 6. Its opening game is Aug. 30 at defending national champion Ohio State.

Sulkin said he learned at Monday night's meeting that Karen Nyrop, an assistant state attorney general, had a student unlock Neuheisel's office last Friday so she could "rifle through his things."

"It's just another example of the lack of leadership at the University of Washington that they have their lawyers spend time going through the offices of employees without their knowledge or permission instead of focusing" on the problems "in this whole sordid event," Sulkin said.

He did not discuss the results of the search.

Athletic department spokesman Jim Daves refused to discuss anything about the meeting except to say it occurred.

Earlier, Sulkin said, "While this morning's meeting with the NCAA was productive, we don't expect that it will change the UW's decision."

The NCAA "indicated a willingness to listen — which we appreciate — but its willingness to act remains unclear. One thing's for certain: Nothing is resolved."

NCAA spokesman Jeff Howard confirmed the meeting, saying NCAA officials met with Neuheisel's lawyers to discuss bylaws that apply to the case.

Sulkin blasted the university for its decision to fire Neuheisel and accused the NCAA of pushing the school to do so.

"What's needed now is real leadership," Sulkin said in a statement earlier Monday. "It's clear that the University of Washington's upper campus politics are more important than the integrity of the process. We've asked for copies of key documents, access to witnesses, and an open forum to present the facts. All of our requests have been denied."

He added that "the president of the NCAA — acting as self-appointed judge and jury — called for Coach Neuheisel's dismissal before all the facts were known. UW's administration, operating out of fear and self preservation, succumbed to the pressure.

"Unfortunately, bureaucratic momentum has taken the place of real leadership. Coach Neuheisel will actively fight his termination in hopes of shedding light on an unfair process."

Neuheisel had a 33-15 record in four seasons at Washington.

Last week, Neuheisel and university officials agreed to waive a hearing with Arkans, which would have been a final appeal to Hedges' decision to fire Neuheisel.

Hedges rejected an initial appeal July 1.

Neuheisel's firing "with cause" means he will receive no more money from the balance of his contract, and he will have to repay a $1.5 million loan received last August.

Under a six-year contract extension he signed last September, Neuheisel earned $1.21 million a year, with incentives that could have reached $1.46 million. His contract provided that he would have to repay the loan if he did not remain as head coach through the end of the contract in 2008.

Neuheisel owns a $4.2 million home on Lake Washington. According to property records, Neuheisel refinanced his home last summer with a $3.6 million mortgage. The current balance on the home was not available. It underwent a $50,000 remodeling in April.

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