Missouri swimming coach Greg Rhodenbaugh has been cleared of any violations of Title IX. The college closed the investigation final week.
The investigation concerned alleged discrimination of feminine swimmers in this system and was dropped at the college by one of many swimmers.
Rhodenbaugh was positioned on paid administrative go away whereas the College investigated allegations associated to staff administration points inside the Tiger packages, acknowledged Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk.
Andrew Grevers changed Rhodenbaugh, who served as Mizzou’s head swimming and diving coach since being named to the place on Might 5, 2010, till being positioned on administrative go away final October. In accordance with the phrases of his contract, Rhodenbaugh was reassigned from his teaching place.
After a complete, nine-month investigation of College of Missouri Head Swimming and Diving Coach Greg Rhodenbaugh for violations of Title IX involving alleged “team mismanagement”, the College formally closed the investigation final week with none findings of wrong-doing.
Underneath Rhodenbaugh’s nine-year tenure, the MIZZOU swimming program went from the underside of the Large 12 Convention to a SEC nationwide swimming powerhouse. In 2016 and 2017, the Tiger Males’s program completed prime Ten at NCAA Championships with the Ladies ending within the prime 15 each years. Rhodenbaugh’s and his assistants have been subsequently acknowledged as one among swimming’s prime teaching staffs and in 2017 Rhodenbaugh was voted Coach of the Yr by the College’s Athletic Division.
Over the 9 years of Rhodenbaugh’s teaching, the Tigers turned out dozens of All-Individuals, Nationwide Champions, Nationwide Group members and a World Champion. In actual fact, when the allegations surfaced in 2018, Mizzou had simply negotiated a five-year extension of Rhodenbaugh’s contract.
The official closing of the investigation was issued late Wednesday, July third, earlier than the July 4th weekend. The discover adopted Rhodenbaugh’s retention of former USA Swimming protection legal professional Gregory A. Anderson, who notified the college’s Normal Counsel’s workplace that after 9 months of ready, Rhodenbaugh was submitting swimsuit for defamation of character, termination with out discover or trigger and different theories. Anderson alleged the unending investigation was deliberately interfering with negotiations between Rhodenbaugh and one other premier Division 1 college to turn out to be its head coach for the 2019-2020 season.
Through the 9 months of investigation, Andy Hirth, Rhodenbaugh’s native legal professional made repeated calls for for Mizzou to reveal the factual foundation for the allegations towards him, to finish its investigation in a well timed method as required by college guidelines and to carry a listening to for Rhodenbaugh to current proof in his personal protection as assured below his contract.
Anderson instructed the college that “…while I’ve reviewed allegations of misconduct against any number of coaches over the past thirty years, these allegations remain some of the most perplexing… We reviewed the statements of the athletes involved and noted the complete absence of anything that could be termed ’factual’. It was hard to even understand why an official investigation was held.”
Anderson concluded by noting, “Far from discriminatory, Coach Rhodenbaugh’s statements encouraged his swimmers to overcome hardships and make good choices in their lives…swimming is an extremely difficult sport in terms of the physical and mental demands on the athletes. Encouraging your swimmers to overcome obstacles is not discriminatory.”
Through the investigation, numerous former and present swimmers got here ahead to help Rhodenbaugh. Annie Grevers who swam for Rhodenbaugh throughout his tenure at Arizona and is the sister-in-law of present MIZZOU head coach Andy Grevers and spouse of 2016 Olympian Matt Grevers, mentioned, “This is a man perpetuating good. He’s one of the most respected, empathetic men in college coaching.” Because the investigation went on, quite a few athletes have been recruited to corroborate the allegations and as an alternative refuted them. Not a single assistant coach, most of who have been there on the deck throughout the supposed discrimination, supported the allegations. One assistant coach, Kristen Pritchett, who coached with Rhodenbaugh from 2013 via 2016 -when a number of the supposedly discriminatory statements have been made- mentioned,”…[H]is [Rhodenbaugh’s] demeanor was the identical with all of his athletes, no matter their efficiency capabilities, gender, race or sexual orientation. By no means as soon as did I hear him yell, demean or belittle an athlete….” Almost 300 previous swimmers and coaches throughout the nation wrote the college in help of Rhodenbaugh.
Nevertheless, below Mizzou Title IX guidelines, the accused is just not allowed to defend him or herself. Calling protection witnesses and even cross-examining the accusers is taken into account “oppressive” and never permitted. However even when a protection have been allowed, there can be no discussion board to take action: “The Mizzou Title IX department doesn’t allow a formal hearing on the charges” Anderson defined, “…it’s a system laden with affirmation bias at its core.
“There was no due process” Anderson concluded, “It was only when we made clear our plan to challenge these procedures in federal court that the Title IX director’s enthusiasm evaporated.”
When requested concerning the allegations introduced towards him, Rhodenbaugh responded, “I was stunned. In my 34 years of coaching collegiate athletes, I think everyone I coached recognized that I deeply care about them and would do anything to help them achieve their goals and dreams – in the pool and out. My assistant coaches and I were the strongest advocates for sixty swimmers. From the sidelines, I encouraged the swimmers to stay focused on their goals and to not get sidetracked by all this.”
When requested about his expertise at Mizzou, Rhodenbaugh acknowledged,
“I came to MIZZOU nine years ago to invest in the lives of young men and women who came here to swim and to build a top ten swimming and diving program and we did that. Along the way, I have always been conscious of the personal needs and academic goals of my student-athletes. While building a top team was incredible, that goal never outweighed my desire to help my athletes personally grow as they work through life issues. The other coaches and I know that being part of an SEC D1 swim program is challenging and transitioning from high school to college is tough. We were always conscious of the total well-being of the athletes and I am sorry that a few athletes didn’t realize the depth of care that all of the coaches had for them.”
When requested concerning the ordeal lastly coming to an finish, Rhodenbaugh acknowledged,
” As I’ve acknowledged earlier than, the women and men who got here right here to swim below our teaching staff have been a part of an unimaginable story of constructing a swimming powerhouse and I’m happy with each one among them. Leaving the swimmers right here can be robust, however I’m excited for my subsequent teaching alternative in order that I can get again to my ardour for serving to younger ladies and men obtain their goals and aspirations on the highest degree.”