Gymnastics Coach Out At U Of M After Sexual Harassment Investigations | Star Tribune

August 29, 2014

While the university investigations are now closed, the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) continues to investigate a claim from a student-athlete that the volunteer assistance coach subjected Student A to sexual harassment, and the University had notice of the sexual harassment which took place in the fall of 2013, according to the OCRs report. Jim Stephenson led the program as head coach and co-head coach with Meg for 17 years before moving into a volunteer role in 2010. The university said he hasnt been with the team since last fall. An April 24 OCR letter to university President Eric Kaler notified the school of the alleged sexual harassment on the team, and that the university knew of the complaint and failed to take effective steps to end the harassment and remedy its effects. A June 4 letter to Meg Stephenson from the universitys Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action notified her of the claim of expressing overt hostility toward someone at the university after the sexual harassment claim. Several references in the heavily redacted letter reference this someone as fearing for the safety of their job, hinting at possible retaliation against someone on staff. After careful consideration, this department felt the need for a change to womens gymnastics for the good of the students and the program, athletic director Norwood Teague said in a release. In the past year, the university conducted two investigations into student and employee complaints about the program. Following those investigations, the athletics department took prompt and appropriate action to address the concerns.
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