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UMBC Settles Abuse Case Involving Former Swim Coach for $4.14 Million

University of Maryland at Baltimore County (Credits: Yocket)

The University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC) has agreed to pay up to $4.14 million to student-athletes who were victims of se*xual abuse and discrimination by a former swim coach over an extended period, as announced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday.

The settlement was reached after the DOJ determined that Chad Cradock, the former head coach of UMBC’s swimming and diving teams, had se*xually harassed male student-athletes and discriminated against female student-athletes, with insufficient action taken by the university to investigate these allegations.

In 2020, the DOJ initiated an investigation into claims that the university had failed to meet its obligations under Title IX, particularly in responding to reports of se*xual assault from students.

A Gavel (Credits: The Hill)

The investigation uncovered evidence suggesting that the coach used a camera to film students while showering in a UMBC locker room. Instead of launching an inquiry or taking steps to safeguard students, UMBC administrators reportedly alerted the coach about campus police’s impending search of his locker, thereby hindering the criminal investigation, according to the DOJ.

Additionally, in 2019, a student reported instances of unwanted se*xual touching and harassment by the coach, yet UMBC allegedly failed to conduct an investigation or address the matter. Concurrently, the university did not address reports of discrimination from female students, including incidents of dating violence.

UMBC (Credits: Parking Network)

Due to these systemic failures, student-athletes endured ongoing se*xual abuse, harassment, and discrimination by their coach for an extended period, according to the DOJ.

As part of the settlement, UMBC has agreed to provide financial relief of up to $4.14 million to the affected students. The university has committed to important enhancements to its procedures for addressing complaints of se*x discrimination, including bolstering resources and staffing for its Title IX program and providing support for se*xual assault survivors, among other policy reforms.

The DOJ will oversee the implementation of these measures, which will remain in effect until the 2028-2029 academic year. The agreement grants the DOJ the authority to offer feedback on UMBC’s policies, conduct campus visits for meetings with students and staff, and request relevant documents.

UMBC has stated that it fully cooperated with the DOJ’s investigation and has reaffirmed its dedication to ensuring the health and safety of its campus community.

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