G.U. Track Coach Resigns; University Cancels 7 Meets


Georgetown University accepted the resignation of Pat Henner, director of the track and field and cross country programs at the university after 16 years of service. The university also issued its findings July 31 concerning allegations of racial bias by the school’s track program and misconduct by student-athletes in the track and field program. Henner and other coaches were found to have no knowledge of misconduct by student-athletes.

The university statement reads, in part:

“The Office of Institutional Diversity Equity and Affirmative Action, which conducted the investigation into racial bias, found no racial bias in the track program. The investigation included a systematic review of equity among athletes and involved dozens of interviews with current and former team members and coaching staff. … Georgetown has also concluded a thorough review of allegations relating to reports of hazing and sexual misconduct among members of the men’s track team. The investigation included dozens of interviews with coaches, current and former members of the track program, and others with knowledge of the climate around the track program.

“The investigation found that inappropriate locker room behavior and the creation of offensive materials relating to unofficial team events violated the university’s policies regarding sexual misconduct, harassment, non-discrimination and hazing. It is clear that not every student-athlete engaged in misconduct, and the investigation found no wrongdoing by the coaches. Nonetheless, these behaviors and actions created a culture that is inconsistent with the university’s values and did not meet the expectations Georgetown has set for members of its community and for its student-athletes.

“As a result of the misconduct investigation’s findings, and in order to build a positive culture in the men’s track team that is both respectful and inclusive, the men’s track team will be sanctioned with a mandatory, university-imposed reduction in competitive opportunities during the 2015-2016 academic year.

“Georgetown’s participation will be canceled in seven weekends of competitions. In lieu of competition, student-athletes’ time will be used for reflection and discernment, for mandatory training and for dedicated efforts to building an inclusive and respectful team culture.”

No successor has been announced for Henner.

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