Ohio State University fired its head cheerleading coach for failing to take appropriate action after two of her assistant coaches were accused of sexually harassing team members.
Head coach Lenee Buchman did not follow proper protocols after a student accused male assistant coach Eddie Hollins of sexual harassment, according to the Columbus Dispatch. A spokesperson for OSU told The Daily Caller that she was fired last week.
The allegation against Hollins was made last year. Cody Ellis, a fifth-year student and male cheerleader, claimed that Hollins proposition him for sex and sent him sexually explicit text messages.
“From what I know from Cody and after reviewing the investigation, the culture of this cheerleading program struck me as wildly dysfunctional and horribly, sexually inappropriate,” said John Camilus, Ellis’s attorney, in a statement.
Another male assistant cheerleading coach, Dana Bumbrey, was accused of making sexually explicit comments to female cheerleaders.
In their defenses, Bumbrey and Hollins claimed that “allegations were just playful, and that sexual joking among coaches and team members was common,” according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Unsurprisingly, that defense didn’t get them very far, and both were fired last May.
In August, Buchman removed Ellis from the team. She was accused of retaliation, but eventually cleared of that charge.
She also took team members to a training camp run by ex-coach Bumbrey, months after he was fired for telling sex jokes to female students, according to The Lantern.
And when ex-coach Hollins came to a practice in September — months after he was fired — Buchman did not instruct him to leave.
Initially, the only repercussions for Buchman were that she had to attend a harassment workshop. But now, given the totality of the harassment charges — and possible legal action from Ellis — OSU has fired her. She should have worked harder to distance her program from the former coaches, said OSU.
Though Buchman is no longer the head coach, she is still technically OSU’s cheerleading coordinator.
Her replacement, Steve Chorba, has hopefully been told not to hit on the cheerleaders.