Harvard University has placed its head diving coach on leave after a federal lawsuit was filed alleging he engaged in sexual misconduct.
According to CNN, diving coach Chris Eaton was described in the class-action lawsuit filed by former athletes who said he solicited nude pictures from female athletes at an Indiana diving academy known as Ripfest, and also sent pictures of his penis to young female athletes there.
The complaints began in 2015, which were reported to Heaton’s superiors at Ripfest.
"Harvard Athletics was unaware of any allegations of misconduct when Mr. Heaton was hired as the Head Coach for Diving in August 2018," university spokeswoman Rachael Dane told CNN in a statement. Dane added that upon learning of the allegations, Harvard immediately placed Heaton on leave pending a review.
The lawsuit claims that both USA Diving and the Indiana Diving Association turned a blind eye to Heaton’s behavior.
When Heaton was hired as head coach for men's and women's diving, Harvard's athletics director, Bob Scalise called Heaton “an outstanding coach and educator,” noting that “he brings a great track record of helping students achieve success at the highest level."