Two assistant Ohio State cheerleading coaches were fired in May following a university investigation into a sexual harassment complaint against the two men.
The cheerleading team’s head coach, Lenee Buchman, failed to properly report the complaint, but she was retained by the university, according to a letter to Buchman from Kim Heaton, the OSU athletic department’s director of human resources.
Assistant coaches Dana Bumbrey and Eddie Hollins were both terminated “for cause” May 23, according to letters to each coach from Heaton. The Lantern obtained the records Nov. 7 to fill a record request filed Aug. 30.
A June 20 letter addressed to Buchman said it served as a “follow up to our investigation of the sexual harassment complaint made against the cheerleading assistant coaches,” adding that the investigation found Buchman “did not follow the proper channels” of reporting an initial complaint from an OSU cheerleader and instead tried to resolve the issues on her own. The letter also stated OSU coaches are “required to report any complaints that a reasonable person would believe to be sexual harassment.”
Buchman has been OSU’s head coach since July 2009. The June 20 letter said Buchman and her coaching staff would be required to attend a sexual harassment education session in July.
Bumbrey, a 1995 graduate of OSU, had been a member of the coaching staff since August 2009 and was an OSU cheerleader from 1992-95. Hollins, a 1994 OSU graduate, was in his third stint as a member of the OSU coaching staff.
Hollins did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Lantern. Attempts to reach Bumbrey were unsuccessful.
The two assistant coaches were replaced by Steve Chorba and Ray Sharp, who were announced as the team’s new assistant coaches Aug. 22. Buchman received a 1 percent salary raise on Aug. 23, one day after the assistant coaches’ hirings were announced, to $43,003 from her former salary of $42,577.
In an interview with The Lantern in August, Buchman declined to comment on the firings of Bumbrey and Hollins.
“I can’t really discuss personnel decisions,” Buchman said. “I’m really excited about our staff. I think the combination of Steve and Ray in moving forward is just going to be a really positive outlook for the program, and I see great things happening.”
John Camillus, an attorney representing former OSU cheerleader Cody Ellis, told The Lantern his client was harassed by Hollins.
“Cody Ellis came forward with claims of sexual harassment at the hands of (an) Ohio State coach. He came forward repeatedly, and he shouldn’t have to come forward repeatedly,” Camillus said.
However, the actual investigation into Hollins and Bumbrey began, Camillus said, when a sexual harassment report was made anonymously through EthicsPoint, OSU’s anonymous reporting line, April 6.
Ellis has not filed any lawsuits against OSU or any current or former members of the coaching staff, Camillus said.
Camillus said Ellis, a fifth-year in exercise science, is still enrolled at OSU.
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