By: Barbara Hart, Principal in G&E’s Civil Rights Practice
Following the March 2021 suicide of Chad Cradock, former University of Maryland – Baltimore County’s (UMBC) head swimming coach, allegations of sexual assault bubbled up from male student athletes. Students also told university staff that Cradock discriminated against female swimmers.
Back in 2020, the university launched an investigation into Cradock’s behavior after multiple male swimmers reported sexual misconduct. Students also reported that Cradock engaged in discrimination against female swimmers, and improperly handled Title IX reports. The investigation found that Cradock violated the school’s discrimination policy, sexually harassed student athletes (including unwanted touching and kissing), and “created a hostile environment during his time as coach.” After learning of the investigation into these allegations (and months later, allegations by additional student swimmers), Cradock committed suicide.
The swimmers felt backed into a corner, reflecting the way that unlawful discrimination and sexual misconduct is often experienced by survivors. “I felt powerless to do anything about it,” one student athlete said of the harassment. Swimmers also reportedly said during the investigation that Coach Cradock was detached from the women’s swim team, enforced rules differently for the women’s team, gave different/less sympathetic treatment to female swimmers’ injuries, and paid less attention during the women’s team practices. Some swimmers also noted that Cradock discouraged them from making reports to university officials.
Contact Grant & Eisenhofer’s Civil Rights Attorneys for a Consultation
If you or someone you love experienced discrimination, or is a survivor of sexual misconduct or sexual violence at a college, university, or other education institution, it’s important to know your rights and have someone fighting for you to hold those responsible accountable. If you feel you have not been heard by your college or university, speak with an attorney experienced in Title IX and discrimination cases. Grant & Eisenhofer’s civil rights attorneys can help you determine if you have legal options to file a sexual assault claim, a Title IX sexual assault lawsuit, or a discrimination case.