• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
  • -
    days
  • -
    hours
  • -
    minutes
  • -
    seconds

DOJ Finds UMBC Failed to Protect Athletes From Sexual Assault for Years

  • UMBC violated Title IX, ignoring sexual assault allegations against its swimming and diving coach, per the DOJ.
  • The university knew about the allegations for about five years.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice released a damning letter to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, finding the school violated Title IX from 2015 to ’20. Following an investigation that involved interviews with 70 people and the review of roughly 200,000 pages of documents, the DOJ found that former men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach Chad Cradock committed sexual assault and discrimination against his athletes, and that the university knew about the allegations for years but did not act to protect its students.

“UMBC takes full responsibility for the breakdown in Title IX enforcement,” says Kacey Hammel, the chief of staff to the UMBC president, in a statement to Front Office Sports. “We deeply regret the pain this caused for students who were directly impacted by the misconduct. The university is working to strengthen our Title IX policies and processes, and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure the safety and well-being of all students.”

Allegations of misconduct and the university’s inadequate response have been public for years, but the DOJ’s affirmations that both happened, and insistence that the university commit to reforms, are new.

Per the DOJ, Cradock, who stopped coaching at UMBC in 2020 and died by suicide in ’21, committed “unwanted sexual touching” of male athletes and “sex discrimination” against female athletes, which included “degrading” comments about their bodies. He created a “hostile environment based on sex” that included “invasive questions” about athletes’ sexual relationships, the DOJ said. Cradock made “significant efforts” to secure mental-health services for male athletes, according to documentation uncovered by the DOJ investigation, but did “little, if anything” when made aware of multiple female athletes’ disordered eating and mental health needs.

“Going there felt like prison,” said one female athlete. 

The university’s failure to respond for the roughly five years it knew about the allegations “enabled” his behavior to continue, the DOJ said.

School president Valerie Sheares Ashby, who was not at UMBC when the sexual assaults and misconduct took place, said in a letter to the community that an agreement with the DOJ is forthcoming that will outline changes for how the university responds to reports of wrongdoing. Sheares Ashby also detailed ways the university has already acted to amend its processes. She cited a new role she created in 2022 around equity and diversity as well as the Title IX work that person has done, including providing trainings to students, faculty, and staff; updating policies; and building a team to further improve the school’s ability to respond to complaints. 

The DOJ outlined in its letter that it acknowledges the school’s “commitment to provide financial relief to certain student-athletes, subject to its state-mandated approval process.” Neither the DOJ nor UMBC addressed FOS questions about what those payments might look like.

“As UMBC has acknowledged, the University is working cooperatively with the Department toward a resolution. Details of that resolution will be announced when it is final,” read a DOJ statement to FOS.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The WNBA Boom Goes Beyond Caitlin Clark

Ticket sales and prices are way up from last year.

Long Saga of Botched Timberwolves Sale Heads to Mediation

The battle for the team could be resolved before next season, an expert says.

Phoenix’s NHL Future on Ice: Can Meruelo Reactivate the Coyotes?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman acknowledges there could be a repeat of local political opposition.

Michael Jordan Is Finally Finding Success as a Team Owner

His Airness is spending more time at the track, and watching his team succeed.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Randy Johnson, Bird Savior

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Everything You Need To Know About the Legal Attempts To Kill the ACC

Four lawsuits involving the conference, Clemson, and FSU could determine the future.
April 20, 2024

A Bare-Knuckle Fighter Won His Pro Debut. The Far Right Scored a Marketing Win

With Proud Boys sponsoring him, experts say extremist groups will use his success to elevate their ideologies and recruit new believers.
April 7, 2024

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Adidas
Multiple - USA Careers
FanDuel
Multiple - USA Careers

‘Give Them the Real’: Why Dawn Staley ‘Spoiled’ Local South Carolina Reporters

Staley’s love for the local media leads to more coverage and passionate fans.
April 19, 2024

Players Accused of Sexual Misconduct Can Still Compete, Feds Say

New Title IX rules ban suspending accused athletes until a school investigation occurs.
Dec 27, 2023; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Kyron Hudson (10) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at Petco Park.
April 19, 2024

Hearings Have Concluded in the Pivotal USC Athlete Employment Case. What’s Next?

The potentially landmark labor case could end the NCAA amateurism model.
Sponsored

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 19, 2024

Memphis and FedEx Strike Unique Corporate NIL Deal For $25 Million

The logistics company has a long-standing relationship with the university.
April 17, 2024

NCAA Made Empty Threats to Jim Harbaugh over Lawyer’s Twitter Posts

The attorney kept criticizing the NCAA on social media after the October warning.
April 11, 2024

‘Nothing Is Off the Table’: New AAC Commissioner Isn’t Afraid of the Controversial Ideas

Tim Pernetti told reporters he’s specifically interested in private equity—and didn’t rule out athlete employment or unionization models.
April 10, 2024

Deion Sanders: NFL Teams Manipulate Draft Positions

Coach Prime joined ‘Front Office Sports Today’ to discuss the state of college football.