A former University of California and athletic department intern has accused unnamed football players, coaches and staff members of sexual harassement.
“We are aware of the very disturbing public allegations made on social media,” a statement from the university read. “Allegations of sexual violence and sexual harassment by campus employees are confidential unless officials determine policy is violated, and disciplinary action has been decided. 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. We encourage anyone who is feeling distressed or troubled to contact the PATH to Care Center for confidential support, and other campus resources.”
The student, identified as Paige Cornelius by ESPN.com, wrote in a Facebook post that an unnamed coach told her, “I will get you fired if you do not have sex with me.”
She said a different coach left comments on an Instagram post that led to text messages and an invitation to Memorial Stadium at midnight.
“I was under the influence, and not legally in a state of mind to be consenting to sex,” Cornelius said in the Facebook post. “He snuck me into his office … and he immediately grabbed for my waist. I was terrified, my mind was fuzzy, and I do not remember much from that night. He kept kissing me, pushing me against the wall, and I left.”
Cornelius, who says she has medically withdrawn from school, also says that she blocked one staff member on Instagram, and that person began to follow her home.
She said the staff member asked her what she was doing that weekend and that they should go to the pool, because she “would look amazing in a bikini”.
“This coach is still employed by Cal Football, just to make that clear,” she wrote.
“Campus prevention and response efforts have increased in recent years,” read Cal’s statement. “All university staff and all students are required to complete sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training. In addition, the athletic department sponsors supplementary formal training for coaches, staff and student-athletes in sexual violence awareness and prevention, bystander intervention, and campus reporting procedures.