UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley assistant basketball coach fired over claims of sexual harassment

Yann Hufnagel. Photo: CalBears
Yann Hufnagel. Photo: CalBears

See statement from UC Berkeley at foot of story as well as a link to the redacted investigative report. 

On Sunday, the Cal men’s basketball team was celebrating its highest ever NCAA tournament seeding after securing the #4 seed in the southern region tournament. Monday morning brought different news to the program, however, with the firing of assistant coach Yann Hufnagel for violating the university’s sexual harassment policy.

No details were released on the investigation into Hufnagel by the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). But the swift action stands in contrast to the initial discipline meted out to former law school dean Sujit Choudhry, who resigned last week when a lawsuit made an OPHD investigation public, or astronomy professor Geoff Marcy, who resigned last October after Buzzfeed uncovered details of his OPHD investigation.

Also last week, UC President Janet Napolitano terminated an arrangement whereby former UC Berkeley vice chancellor for research Graham Fleming, who resigned last April following sexual harassment allegations, remained an ambassador for Berkeley’s planned Global Campus in Richmond.


In a letter to the chancellors of all 10 universities in the UC system issued on Friday, Napolitano wrote: “This issue is critically important to the University of California, and to me personally. At a minimum, our employees are entitled to come to work without fear of sexual harassment or sexual violence.”

Napolitano also announced a new committee that would review proposed disciplinary actions against senior figures who violated UC sexual assault and harassment policies.

A UC systemwide committee is already reviewing policies involving faculty and is scheduled to report next month.

Napolitano, in a separate letter, instructed UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks to ban Choudhry from the campus for the rest of the term, and to begin proceedings against him through the Academic Senate. Those proceedings could end in suspension or dismissal. Napolitano wrote that UC does not intend to defend Choudhry in the lawsuit filed by Tyann Sorrell, his former executive assistant.

Hufnagel was in his second year as assistant coach, under head coach Cuonzo Martin. Before coming to Cal, he worked at Vanderbilt and Harvard.


Early this morning, he was tweeting about the NCAA tournament. But by mid-morning, he tweeted that the sexual harassment claims were “fruitless”:

UC BERKELEY STATEMENT: UC Berkeley released a statement via its communications department at around 12:15 Monday. It reads:

California’s head men’s basketball coach, Cuonzo Martin, has initiated termination proceedings under University of California policy against assistant coach, Yann Hufnagel, Cal’s Intercollegiate Athletics Department announced today. Effective immediately, Hufnagel has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of the termination process and will not be traveling with the team during its NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament run. The actions follow a finding, issued today by UC Berkeley’s Office of the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) that Hufnagel violated the University’s sexual harassment policy. Note: The university will distribute a redacted version of the investigative report later today, once the complainant has been provided with a copy and has an opportunity to review the findings.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m. The university will not be releasing a redacted version of the OPHD report today, according to a statement just released. It reads:

After careful consideration, the university will not be releasing a redacted version of the Hufnagel investigative report to the media today. The recently completed report was shared for the first time with the complainant this afternoon, who has asked that we delay release so that she has time to read its contents. At the same time, the complainant understands that under the California Public Records Act, a redacted version of the report is a public document and that the University will be releasing it in the near future.


UPDATE March 15: The university has released the redacted report on the Hufnagel investigation. You can read the full redacted report here.

Related:
Berkeley law dean resigns after sexual harassment suit (03.11.15)
Berkeley school board gets annual bullying report (12.09.15)
BHS Stop Harassing takes campaign to Berkeley council (09.18.15)
Berkeley High anti-harassment student group wins award (06.12.15)
BHS students allege BUSD refused access to federal investigators over sexual harassment (05.15.15)

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