Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Report: Wisconsin Athletic Official Grabbed Student's Crotch
John Chadima, who resigned as associate athletic director at the University of Wisconsin earlier this month, allegedly made sexual advances toward a male UW student employee at an alcohol-fueled party that began on Dec. 30. According to a report compiled by a panel appointed by interim chancellor David Ward and released by university officials late Tuesday, the incident — which occurred in Chadima's suite at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles during the Badgers' trip to the Rose Bowl — also reveals disturbing details about the easy access to alcohol at athletic department-sponsored events. |
The panel interviewed 23 people, and details of the report were summarized by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
From 25 to 30 people were in Chadima's suite for the party throughout the night, but between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. Chadima and six or seven student employees were left in the suite.
At some point all but one of the student employees left the suite.
Chadima and the remaining student employee, referred to in the report as John Doe, consumed several rum drinks while alone.
Chadima eventually said he thought Doe was gay and that several other student employees suspected the same.
Doe told UW officials he was uncomfortable with the remark but did not leave. Doe added Chadima undid Doe's pants belt and touched him indecently.
Doe responded by slapping Chadima's hand and swearing.
Chadima allegedly said: ". . . What are you going to do about it? I could have you fired."
Doe left the room and about 3:15 a.m. told his immediate supervisor what happened.
The report stated staff and other employees concluded Doe's story was credible.
An investigation was conducted after the team returned to Wisconsin. That led to Chadima being placed on administrative leave Jan. 6. Chadima resigned later that day.
Journal Sentinel reporter Jeff Potrykus dug deeper into the 34-page report to discover what he calls "the troubling issue of a university official providing alcohol to underage UW students." The alcohol was provided by the athletic department and purchased with donor money, the report states. Chadima "offered alcohol freely to anyone who came to the party," and more than half of those attendees were students — some of them underage.
According to Potrykus, UW athletic director Barry Alvarez and other senior members of the athletic department told the panel they were aware of bowl parties Chadima hosted for university employees, but they did not normally attend the events. “And it is not clear to us if they knew about the extensive service and availability of alcohol at the parties,” the report states. “Alvarez told us while there were no specific guidelines about the use of alcohol, he ‘did not recommend’ that professional staff drink with students or student employees.
"We believe there is reason to question the appropriateness of the sort of unregulated service of alcohol to students, as well as the practice of a professional staff member drinking with students at university events,” the report continues. “With the alcohol purchased by the athletic department and served in a university official’s hotel suite, we believe that Chadima’s parties were, in effect, university events. University staff with whom we talked were unaware of any university regulations that would provide guidelines for such events at off-campus facilities. We recommend that the university review these issues and consider whether or not rules or guidelines should be developed.”
This is not the first time Chadima has been reprimanded for an alcohol-related incident. In March 1998, when he was in his second year as UW's director of facilities and events, Chadima went out drinking with 23-year-old senior quarterback Mike Samuel. Too intoxicated to drive himself home, Chadima got a ride from Samuel in the administrator's truck. Samuel was subsequently stopped by police for driving under the influence. According to Potrykus, Chadima received a letter of reprimand from then-athletic director Pat Richter; at the time, Alvarez was preparing for his ninth season as head coach of the football Badgers.