A woman accused California football players and coaches of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior Wednesday in a lengthy Facebook post. The university’s athletic department said in a statement later in the day that it has referred the matter to its Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.
“We are aware of the very disturbing public allegations made on social media,” the statement read. “These allegations go against the very core of our values.”
The accuser, whose name is being withheld because she may be a victim of sexual assault, is a Cal student who wrote that she is “medically withdrawn from school, seeking intensive therapy and psychiatry for the post traumatic stress syndrome and anxiety that happened from the time I spent working for the Cal Football team” as a sports medicine intern.
In her Facebook post, she alleged one member of the coaching staff invited her to his office late at night to help her with her studies. While there, she alleged, the coach grabbed her by the waist, kissed her and pushed her against the wall. At the time, the accuser wrote in her post, she “was under the influence, and not legally in a state of mind to be consenting to sex.”
She alleged that the next day in practice he cornered her and said, “If you do not have sex with me, I will get you fired.” That coach, according to ESPN, was a volunteer assistant who is no longer with the team.
The accuser also alleged that another member of the coaching staff followed her home after she blocked him on Instagram — “this coach is still employed by Cal Football, just to make that clear,” she wrote — and still another would touch her arm and make suggestive comments during practice.
“I have never felt more objectified in my life, and I still have nightmares, often it is a coach doing sexual things to me without my consent or following me home,” the accuser wrote on Facebook. “I am not ok, I had to leave Berkeley.”
Also in her post, she accused players of making “lewd remarks” toward her and describes an alleged incident in which she said players gave her “vast amounts of tequilla” and said to each other, “Looks like we are gonna get lucky tonight.” She stated that she “slipped out the back door unnoticed” during that alleged incident.
The accuser wrote that she contacted head coach Justin Wilcox and others in the athletic department via email or phone about her situation and received no response. Wilcox did not respond to the San Francisco Chronicle’s request for a comment on the matter.
The woman suggested in her post that those alleged unanswered messages are what prompted her to go public with her accusations.