San Jose State’s swim coach is suing four university administrators for what he claims is retaliation for his role in bringing the school’s recent sexual abuse investigations to light.
According to The Mercury News, the complaint in Santa Clara County Superior Court alleges that the university administrators worked to discredit coach Sage Hopkins due to his persistence pursuing the investigation into Scott Shaw. A California State University System Title IX investigation found in February that Shaw, the former university sports medicine director who resigned in August, was responsible for at least five cases of sexual abuse against female athletes.
Related content: Former SJS Sports Med Director Responsible for Abuse
Shaw was cleared of wrongdoing in the initial investigation that concluded in 2010. The Mercury News reported that Hopkins has taken notes since December 2009, “charting how he had reported the initial abuse claims and later issues with Shaw continuing to treat some of his swimmers.”
Hopkins sent a 300-page file of student-athletes’ accounts to the San Jose State Title IX office in 2018, then sent it to the NCAA in November 2019, leading to the university reopening the investigation.
Related content: Ex-San Jose State Athletes Seek Damages Over Abuse
The complaint alleges that those actions caused Hopkins to be the victim of intimidation and mistreatment by athletic director Marie Tuite, senior associate athletic director Eileen Dailey, vice president for university personnel Joanne Wright, and director of Equal Opportunity & Employee Relations Julie Paisant.
The lawsuit alleges that the administrators caused the 48-year-old Hopkins humiliation, mental anguish and emotional and physical distress. Tuite allegedly offered Hopkins a new contract and a raise in May 2020 if he would drop a California State University retaliation complaint against her. While Hopkins, who has coached at San Jose State for 16 years, refused to agree, the school renewed the contract with a raise about a month later.
San Jose State announced last week that the original investigation was flawed, with university president Mary Papazian issuing an apology to the athletes.
Related content: San Jose State President Apologizes for Ex-Trainer’s Conduct