Cal Fires Assistant Basketball Coach Who Sexually Harassed Reporter
You’re not going to believe this, but a major NCAA Division I university actually took action when somebody came forward with sexual harassment allegations against somebody in the athletics department.
On Monday, the University of California-Berkley, better known to sports fans as Cal, fired assistant men’s basketball coach Yann Hufnagel. An investigation by the university’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination concluded that Hufnagel had violated the school’s sexual harassment policy.
The complaint came from an unnamed female reporter, for whom Hufnagel was the primary “team source” in her coverage of the Golden Bears basketball team. She alleged that Hufnagel made repeated sexual advances via text and in person from November 2014 until she lost her job in May 2015.
Of course, Hufnagel insists he is innocent:
Right now, the only focus should be on our basketball team! My time to exonerate myself of a fruitless claim by a reporter will come.
— Yann Hufnagel (@yhufnagel) March 14, 2016
However, details of the investigation obtained by Deadspin strongly suggest otherwise.
In January 2015 the reporter asked Hufnagel to meet her for coffee to discuss details of a story she was working on. He insisted that they meet for a drink instead, so she begrudgingly agreed. Once at the bar, Hufnagel had a few drinks and asked her to drive him home. She told him to get a cab, but he insisted, so she did.
Here’s her account of what happened next:
Hufnagel confirmed this story to investigators:
If the story ended there, Hufnagel might still have his job. You can forgive the guy for mistaking the reporter’s indulgence of his advances for genuine interest. But after she told him flat out in that parking garage that she was not going to sleep with him, that should have been it. The fact that he kept making sexual advances is what sealed his fate.
Just check out this creepy text exchange from March 2015, in which Hufnagel implies that he wants to have a three-way with the reporter and a friend of his:
It was only just a few days after that exchange that Hufnagel turns on the reporter, cutting her off and giving her the cold shoulder:
For those who might say the reporter was leading him on because she was still polite and friendly with Hufnagel even after the incident in the garage, what you have to remember is that he was her “team source.” Without a working relationship with this guy, she could not do her job. She tried her best to just ignore his douchebaggery, and if he had just moved on none of this would have come to light. But he didn’t move on. He shut her out. And when she got fired because of that, she had no choice but to file a complaint against him.
Well done, University of California. Well done.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]