Title IX Inquiry Nixed at Private University

Tabatha Wethal Headshot
Madonna U

A private university in Michigan has appeared to end a Title IX investigation into coaching staff after 10 months. 

Madonna University, a private Catholic university in in Livonia has "terminated" an inquiry being done by a third party because the two men at the center of it — Jerry Abraham and Brian McClain — are no longer employed by the university, according to a Hometownlife.com report. 

The investigation was focused on conduct by volleyball and softball coaching staff. Abraham, the former head coach of the school's volleyball and softball programs, and McClain, a former assistant volleyball coach, were placed on administrative leave in October 2021 after a student athlete alleged "inappropriate conduct" by the two. Abraham is known at the college as a wildly successful coach and recruiter. 

An attorney for the university and university administrators have repeatedly declined to share details surrounding the investigation, including the nature of the complaint that prompted it.

Title IX protects students from sex-based discrimination. Most Title IX inquiries take a few months, a university attorney said, but can take longer based on the nature of allegations. Madonna's investigation went on for roughly 10 months and, according to the university, was never completed. Since Madonna University is private, it does not have to publicly share records under the Freedom of Information Act. 

"Our primary priority is the well-being and experience of our student-athletes, and, therefore, we take any and all complaints seriously," a university spokesperson told the newspaper. "We remain diligent in keeping our athletes safe and treating them with dignity, respect and fairness, by engaging in careful hiring practices and providing ongoing training of our coaches and staff."

Madonna University also told Hometownlife.com that the abrupt retirement of its former president, Michael Grandillo, is unrelated to the inquiry into Abraham and McClain. Grandillo's announced his resignation in February and stepped down the following day, citing "relatively minor" health concerns.

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