A University of Missouri-Kansas City assistant softball coach’s frequent visits to the locker room have raised eyebrows, and led some players to leave the program entirely. Some have accused the coach of sexual harassment, but the details of the case are disputed and any disciplinary action has reportedly failed to put a stop to the coach’s alleged behavior.
According to The Kansas City Star, Greg Bachkora, the male coach in question, had a habit of walking into the locker room while players were in various states of undress, sending some ducking behind furniture of scrambling to cover themselves. Bachkora’s go-to reason for these locker room visits was reportedly to use a microwave.
Bachkora’s locker room visits were so frequent that an older player told a new teammate that the coach “has seen me naked more than my boyfriend has.”
The Star reports that Bachkora’s behavior — which in addition to barging into the locker room included kissing some players and joking about female genitalia — led three players to allege sexual harassment. Bachkora would later admit to much of the behavior in an interview with the school’s Title IX officer Mikah Thompson, though Bachkora claimed his locker room visits came only when players were dressed and he had announced his presence, and the kisses were on the cheek or forehead and non-sexual in nature.
Thompson said that she found Bachkora’s explanations to be credible, and Bachkora received no disciplinary action outside of the incident report being placed in his employment file.
After speaking to Thompson, Bachkora received a new microwave.
That didn’t sit well with some players, nor did it go over with parents. One parent, who received notice of Thompson’s decision via email, said that she was “shocked.” For her part, Thompson felt the situation was properly handled.
“I’m thinking that it is inappropriate, I’m thinking this is something that shouldn’t be happening,” Thompson told The Star. “There wasn’t a moment where I put a label on it and said, this is definitely sexual harassment within the policy definition.”
Thompson is now an associate law professor at UMKC.
Though some took issue with the handling of Bachkora’s case, other players defended him. The three players who filed the sexual harassment complaints, however, have each left the program despite having remaining eligibility.
Bachkora remains an assistant coach within the softball program.