Maryland university failed to protect students from abusive swim coach, violating Title IX, feds say

Mar 19, 2024, 10:27 AM

BALTIMORE (AP) — The University of Maryland, Baltimore County violated federal regulations by failing to protect students from sexual harassment and discrimination at the hands of the school’s former head swim coach, a U.S. Department of Justice investigation found.

The results of the investigation, which began in 2020, were released Monday. Justice Department investigators found the university failed to comply with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in education.

Swimmers were subjected to a “hypersexualized environment where their coach — on a daily basis, in plain sight, and typically when they wore only speedos — subjected male student-athletes to unwanted sexual touching, inappropriate sexual comments, and other sexual misconduct,” investigators found.

The coach, Chad Cradock, had overseen the university’s Division I swimming and diving program for nearly 20 years before he was placed on leave in October 2020 pending the federal investigation. He died by suicide in March 2021 after receiving an amended notice of the allegations against him, according to the Justice Department report.

In a letter to the university community Monday, President Valerie Sheares Ashby called the investigation’s findings “deeply troubling.”

“We take full responsibility for what happened, and we commit ourselves not only to addressing the failures, but also to rebuilding our community’s trust,” she wrote.

She also said university leaders will soon sign an agreement with the Department of Justice detailing “critical changes in the way the university responds to reports of sexual misconduct and discrimination.”

Located in the suburbs of Baltimore, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County has a student population of about 14,000. Title IX applies to educational institutions and programs that receive federal funding.

Despite obvious signs and reports of Cradock’s abusive behavior, university leaders turned a blind eye and allowed it to continue for years, federal investigators found. They said Craddock took advantage of his stature within the university community and preyed on vulnerable students, controlling nearly all aspects of their college experience.

Meanwhile, female swimmers experienced a different type of hostile environment, including sexual harassment from their male counterparts, degrading comments about their bodies and invasive questions about their sex lives, the investigation found. Craddock, who oversaw both teams, favored the men while encouraging romantic relationships between male and female swimmers.

“Too many school officials and administrators knew something for UMBC to have done nothing,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement Monday.

Six former college swimmers sued the university in federal court last year alleging Title IX violations in a case that remains ongoing.

United States News

Supporters wave to former President Donald Trump as he arrives to the Milwaukee Mitchell Internatio...

Associated Press

America’s toxic political climate faces calls to ‘tone it down’ after assassination attempt on Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Tone it down!” That was the plea from one Republican congressman as he came to grips with the assassination attempt against Donald Trump at a political rally in the Butler Farm area where he grew up. “I am in a state of bewilderment of how and what has happened to the United […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Winston, beloved gorilla at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, dies at 52 after suffering health problems

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) — Winston, a western lowland gorilla who was a favorite attraction at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, has died at the age of 52 after suffering multiple health problems, officials said. The park said Winston was euthanized Saturday after veterinarians determined his condition was declining. “After careful consideration stemming from furthering […]

2 hours ago

President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Sun...

Associated Press

In primetime address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘It’s time to cool it down’

President Joe Biden warned Sunday of the the risks of political violence in the U.S. after Saturday’s attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump, saying, “It's time to cool it down.”

3 hours ago

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks in Washington, May 22, 2024. Haley on Tuesday, July 9, op...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley, Trump’s former primary rival, will now speak Tuesday at the Republican convention

Nikki Haley will speak Tuesday at the RNC in what will be a highly anticipated speech by Donald Trump's last major challenger.

4 hours ago

Gov. Greg Abbott receives a briefing for Hurricane Beryl from local elected officials Sunday, July ...

Associated Press

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demands answers as customers remain without power after Beryl

DALLAS (AP) — With around 350,000 homes and businesses still without power in the Houston area almost a week after Hurricane Beryl hit Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday said he’s demanding an investigation into the response of the utility that serves the area as well as answers about its preparations for upcoming storms. “Power […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Acclaimed video artist Bill Viola dies at 73, created landmark `Tristan und Isolde’ production

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bill Viola, a video artist who combined with director Peter Sellars on a groundbreaking production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” originally seen in Los Angeles, Paris and New York, has died at age 73. Viola died Friday at his home in Long Beach of Alzheimer’s disease, his website announced. What […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Maryland university failed to protect students from abusive swim coach, violating Title IX, feds say