Hoosier Athletes Say Coach Harassed Them

     INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – Three former Indiana University East volleyball players claim in federal court that they were dismissed from the team, and lost their athletic aid, after they spoke out against the sexually inappropriate behavior of their male coach.
     Lindsay Kurz, Meagan Stoker and Cinder Weber, filed their suit in the Southern District of Indiana.
     The women claim that their coach Adam Stevenson’s behavior started in practice, and included the unwanted touching of players, and continued throughout the year. The complaint says that Stevenson told athletes that he would have “sleepovers” with them, and that during practice the coach would video them, and focus on the female athlete’s butts.
     In one instance, the plaintiffs claim Stevenson ordered the volleyball players to help him move into a new home, and made sexually suggestive comments as they helped, including trying to convince the women to go swimming with him. The complaint says the players felt uncomfortable and left.
     The plaintiffs claim their complaints to university administration were mostly ignored and that Kurz was told, “that the volleyball team was still ranked in the conference, so the athletes should be happy.”
     Empowered by the alleged university support, the complaint says Stevenson told the women that their complaints were useless, and after refusing to back down, the three plaintiffs were soon dismissed from the team.
     The lawsuit seeks damages for the women’s dismissal from the team, and for Indiana University East, a regional campus of Indiana University located in Richmond Indiana, to implement a nondiscrimination policy.
     Indiana University East qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament in the fall of 2012.
     Stevenson joined the team the following year in March 2013 as head coach, despite leaving mid-season from his former coaching job at St. Catherine College in Kentucky. The complaint claims that he was forced from his former job amid sexual harassment accusations, which were ignored by university administration during the hiring process.
     The university did officially conduct an investigation into Stevenson in Nov. 2013, but said in a statement that the review of the coach, “ended with no findings of sexual harassment.”
     “We pride ourselves on a student-centered culture at IU East, and any time there are concerns raised by students, we take them seriously and review them carefully,” said Indiana University East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe in a Nov. 6, 2013 statement. “This was and continues to be the case. Our students, their well-being, and their success are at the heart of our mission as a university.”
     Following the conclusion of that investigation, Stevenson resigned from his post as head coach, in a mutual agreement with the school.
     The complaint lists The Trustees of Indiana University as a defendant, and also lists Indiana University East Administrator’s Mark Hester, Patricia Crawford and Daniel Dooley.
     The plaintiffs are represented by Mark Sniderman of Indianapolis.

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