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Notre Dame fires academic coach accused of sexual coercion | One Herald
Home / Top Story / Notre Dame fires academic coach accused of sexual coercion

Notre Dame fires academic coach accused of sexual coercion

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Sunday, November 1, 2015, 8:26 PM

The "Golden Dome" is seen on the campus of Notre Dame University.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The “Golden Dome” is seen on the campus of Notre Dame University.

Notre Dame fired a female academic coach amid allegations she coerced young football and basketball players into having sex with her daughter, according to an internal school report obtained by the Daily News.

The unnamed academic coach violated the university’s “values” and its “discrimination harassment policy,” the six-page report concluded.

The report notes accusations made by African-American students, including one on the fabled football team, who said they were pressed into having sex with the coach’s daughter, who is white.

NOTRE DAME TUTOR SET UP ATHLETES AND DAUGHTER FOR SEX: SUIT

On Friday, one of the students sued the school, arguing the tutor orchestrated “sexually and racially motivated” trysts with her daughter by including condoms, transportation and hotel rooms for academic favors.

“She was exploiting African-American males,” said lawyer Peter J. Agostino, who is representing the unnamed student. “He was invited to the family’s private home to facilitate the relationship.”

The mural at the Hesburgh Library, commonly known as "Touchdown Jesus".Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The mural at the Hesburgh Library, commonly known as “Touchdown Jesus”.

The student started at Notre Dame on an academic scholarship in the fall of 2014, according to his attorney.

The alleged five-month relationship did not start until he sought tutoring lessons during this year’s spring semester, according to the lawsuit.

Those lessons quickly escalated to out-of-state sexual liaisons between her daughter, who was also at the school, and the student.

“She was encouraging it,” said the man’s other lawyer, Michael Misch. “The mom sought him out and promoted the relationship by providing hotel rooms and condoms.”

The academic coach would later interrogate him about the “nature, frequency, and quality of the sexual activities” they had, the lawsuit claims, badgering him with “racially-charged comments about his sexual prowess and genitalia,” the suit alleges.

The student’s attorneys have accused the university of fostering a “sexually abusive and hostile educational environment.”

On Saturday, the school maintained its innocence against the allegations, dismissing the lawsuit as “unfounded” and a mere publicity stunt, Notre Dame spokesman Paul Browne said.

“The allegations against the University of Notre Dame in the complaint are unfounded,” Browne explained in a statement to the South Bend Tribune. “As are gratuitous and unfounded references to ‘student athletes’ – an allegation that is nothing more than a cynical attempt to attract publicity.”

Browne did not respond to a request seeking comment Sunday.

The student tried to end his relationship with the tutor’s daughter, but she then pressured him to convert to Catholicism and recommended he seek mental health counseling.

The coach’s apparent colleague and friend in the school’s psychiatric support allegedly worked in cahoots to “medicate Plaintiff John Doe to keep him passive, cooperative, and under control,” the court documents said.

The student is now demanding a jury trial, injunctive relief from the University of Notre Dame and for school officials to honor his scholarship while handing beginning an independent investigation into his accusations.

He tried to work out the mess with school officials before the lawsuit was filed, according to his lawyers. But the school ignored their requests to talk, the lawyers said.

“We were kind of given no choice,” Misch said. “When the door was slammed in our face we had to pursue our client’s rights through the courts.”

nhensley@nydailynews.com, rblau@nydailynews.com


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