PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University President Kirk Schulz and Athletic Director Pat Chun released a joint statement Thursday in response to a report from The Daily Evergreen which details a number of sexual harassment allegations against Cougar Athletic Fund assistant director Jason Gesser.
The report draws on a complaint review filed with the university's Office of Equal Opportunity. Gesser is accused of making advances towards student-athletes and university interns. The article states the OEO was told Gesser had a sexual relationship with his intern. The Daily Evergreen reports the accusations date back to 2014.
Gesser was brought on to the Cougar Athletic Fund in 2015 and named the CAF assistant athletic director in August 2017.
The Daily Evergreen's Ian Smay and Dylan Greene report multiple employees said Schulz was aware of the accusations against Gesser.
Schulz and Chun released this statement Thursday morning:
"President Kirk Schulz and Director of Athletics Pat Chun have offered the following statement in response to the September 13 article regarding WSU staff member Jason Gesser in the The Daily Evergreen.
We take any allegation of sexual misconduct extremely seriously. A thorough review was launched by the University's Office for Equal Opportunity once University administrators became aware of allegations against Mr. Gesser in December 2017. On multiple occasions, investigators interviewed or attempted to interview all those allegedly involved. Following a comprehensive evaluation of the information available, the Office for Equal Opportunity found no violation of University policy.
As per standard practice, the Office for Equal Opportunity shared its report with Washington State University's Office of Human Resource Services. Human resources staff worked with Director of Athletics Pat Chun to directly address with Mr. Gesser the issues raised in the report.
It is important to reiterate that the University followed its established procedures to review the matter and found no violation of Washington State University policy. The allegations were taken seriously and addressed at the appropriate level.
As part of a separate audit of Mr. Gesser's travel receipts in his role as an Athletics Department fundraiser, a $39.78 overcharge was identified. Mr. Gesser has since reimbursed the University for the full amount.
If individuals have any information regarding allegations of misconduct by WSU employees, they should call the Office for Equal Opportunity at 509-335-8288 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org."
KXLY made a public records request with the university to review the OEO complaint and is waiting to hear back.
KXLY has also reached out to IMG College for a comment. Gesser was brought on as an analyst for IMG Radio in 2014. IMG and WSU announced in August former WSU quarterback Alex Brink would replace Gesser.
Gesser played quarterback for the Cougs from 1998-2002 and led the team to the 2002 Pac-10 Championship and 2003 Rose Bowl. He's coached high school football and was named the Interim Head Coach at The University of Idaho in his second season with the Vandals, after acting as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Gesser now lives in Pullman with his wife and their three kids.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as they become available.
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