Cassandra Strickland, a former star volleyball player at the University of Washington, reported unwanted sexual contact by an executive in the athletic department to the university, according to a report from the Seattle Times. The executive is alleged to have “offered her a ride home, then sexually assaulted her in his truck.”
“My story is not unique. There are hundreds, if not thousands of other girls at other universities, whose stories are being buried to protect the reputation of the schools they attend,” Strickland said. “It’s a problem, it’s been a problem for far too long and we need to change that.”
The university found that the allegations by Strickland were credible, but they decided to take a questionable approach. Washington ultimately reached a settlement with Strickland which paid her $20,000 for therapy with the condition that she could not sue the school.
Since the investigation, the executive — identified as senior associate athletic director Roy Shick — has moved on to a new school.
Shick was hired as vice president of Grand Canyon University, a private college in Arizona.
However, Shick was placed on administrative leave and then fired once Grand Canyon University found out about the allegations against him. School administrators told The Seattle Times that they had previously been unaware of the findings by the University of Washington.
While it is shady behavior by Shick, it is common practice to keep investigations confidential.
From the report:
UW only shared the finding with a small group of university and athletic department officials and, following Strickland’s wishes, did not report it to police, which it says is in line with university policy. Experts say this practice is common among colleges, which keep misconduct as confidential as possible to avoid legal risk, allowing employees to move between schools with their new employers left in the dark.
You can read the full report in detail over at The Seattle Times.