The scandal involving former Cal assistant Yann Hufnagel took another turn on Wednesday, and this time it involves his former boss, Cuonzo Martin.
Hufnagel was fired on Monday following an investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed a reporter that covered the Cal basketball team. The complainant says that Hufnagel went as far as to feed her bad information, which she reported, to get back at her for turning down his advances.
It’s an ugly situation on both sides.
And it could get uglier, because according to emails obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, head coach Cuonzo Martin knew about the harassment for two months before he reported it.
In a statement to UC investigators, in which he was not named but called “Witness 1,” Martin said that when the accuser contacted him in May, she did not provide details or descriptions that constituted sexual harassment. The woman told investigators that she told Martin in May that she was being sexually harassed by Hufnagel.
There’s some important context to be added here as well. For starters, Martin, who has been the head coach for two seasons now, has not yet signed a contract. He’s still working off of his offer sheet. But perhaps more troubling for Martin is that Cal is embroiled in a university-wide sexual harassment scandal. In the past year, the former Law School Dean, a former astronomy professor, and a former head of research have all lost their jobs due to their inability to follow sexual harassment guidelines.
On Tuesday, Cal’s athletic director released the following statement: “To dispel any doubts about Coach Martin’s role, the university will be initiating a review of all of the documents and communications related to his actions. We firmly believe the results will support our confidence in Coach Martin.”