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Georgetown Track Coach Resigns Following Investigations

WASHINGTON ― Georgetown announced the resignation of the director of its track and field and cross country programs following investigations of reports of hazing and sexual misconduct.

The university announced Pat Henner’s resignation Friday and self-imposed sanctions following two investigations involving alleged racial bias and sexual misconduct.

A statement released by Georgetown stated that the investigation into reports of hazing and sexual misconduct among members of the men’s track team found “inappropriate locker room behavior and the creation of offensive materials relating to unofficial team events violated the University’s policies regarding sexual misconduct, harassment, non-discrimination, and hazing.”

The statement did not go into details of the behavior, but added that not every member of the team engaged in misconduct and the investigation “found no wrongdoing by the coaches.”

The university’s Office of Institutional Diversity Equity and Affirmative Action (IDEAA), which conducted the investigation into racial bias, found no racial bias in the track program.

“I have always demanded the highest athletic and personal standards for my coaches and student-athletes,” Henner said in a release. “I regret that some students engaged in behavior that fell short of these expectations.

“I recognize the University’s need to move forward with a fresh start and I do not want to be a distraction in that process.”

Henner served director of the programs for the past eight years and as an assistant coach for eight years prior to that.

Georgetown has canceled the men’s track team’s participation in seven weekends of competition during the 2015-16 academic year, saying this time will instead be used for “reflection and discernment, for mandatory training, and for dedicated efforts to building an inclusive and respectful team culture.”

In addition, the men’s locker room will be closed to the men’s track team until the director of athletics “has determined that the team culture has successfully changed.”

Moving forward, any member of the men’s track team who is found to violate university policies on hazing, harassment or sexual misconduct will be immediately dismissed from the team and may be subject to further disciplinary action through the Student Code of Conduct.

The university said its investigations involved more than 110 interviews with current and former team members, including all current members of the men’s team, all current coaches, and a number of former coaches and athletics department administrators.

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