Woman accuses Cal football coaches, players of sexual harassment in FB post
BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - The University of California at Berkeley’s Athletics Department is responding to accusations that some coaches and players sexually harassed a student.
That woman wrote a lengthy post on her Facebook page, writing that the harassment got so bad she's now medically withdrawn from the university to seek psychiatric help.
The woman, who worked in the sports medicine department, said the harassment started almost immediately. Coaches and players ogled at her during practice, sent persistent text messages, and one coach, she said, even followed her home.
She said that same coach invited her to his hotel room at the Claremont Hotel before a game and he also allegedly cornered her at practice, saying she would be fired if she did not have sex with him.
The woman also accused the players of making lewd remarks and she says she was denied a promotion because she was told they didn't want her in the training room distracting the players. She said the harassment started almost immediately.
KTVU reached the woman via text message. She would not talk on the phone to be interviewed but she texted that she wants her story out there in the hopes of sparking change within the department. She also told KTVU that she tried to report the behavior, but nothing was done, other than someone telling her to cover her shoulders. She said she is now suffering from PTSD because of what happened to her.
Cal’s Athletics Department told KTVU it is aware of the allegations - and the matter has been referred to the campus office for the prevention of sexual harassment and discrimination.
In a statement, the department said in part: "We are aware of the very disturbing public allegations made on social media. As is our policy when such assertions are made, we have immediately referred the matter to the campus Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, which is responsible for investigating such assertions. These allegations go against the very core of our values. Cal Athletics is and will always be committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected. All of those associated with the department are expected to maintain ethical standards at all times."
The university says disciplinary action will be taken if a policy was violated. All students and staff are required to complete sexual harassment training.
As for the young woman, she said she plans to be coming back to Cal, but will be changing her major.