U. Iowa leader briefs regents on athletics review

Associated Press Published: November 15, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — University of Iowa President Sally Mason privately briefed leaders of the school's governing board Thursday as she continues to review the handling of an athletics department official who resigned after being accused of sexual harassment for years.

An Iowa Board of Regents official confirmed that Mason met with three members to discuss the case of Peter Gray, who resigned last week after an internal investigation accused him of improperly touching student-athletes and a range of other inappropriate conduct.

Regents had no comment after the meeting, which came a day after records showed that Gray had been fired from a previous job at Coastal Carolina University for poor performance before Iowa rehired him in 2002.

University spokesman Tom Moore said he expected the school to release more information about its review "in the near future."

From 1993 to 1995 and again from 2002 until last week, the 59-year-old Gray worked in Iowa's athletics student services and was most recently in charge of monitoring the academic progression of student-athletes.

Employees told investigators from the university's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity that Gray's improper touching, which included shoulder massages and hugging, continued throughout both employment terms despite complaints from coworkers, coaches and at least one athlete.

Investigators said Gray had traded football tickets for nude photographs with someone outside the university and had inappropriate photographs on his work computer, including a screen saver of the men's swimming team and individuals engaged in sex acts with stuffed animals or toys. Gray is not under criminal investigation.

The case raises questions about why Gray was rehired, what prompted the university to take action now, and whether earlier complaints were effectively addressed. Critics have also wondered why Gray was allowed to resign rather than be fired and whether the university wanted to keep the matter quiet since it only became public because the Iowa City Press-Citizen obtained the confidential investigation report.

Gray, meanwhile, has picked up support from some former athletes who credit him for working long hours to help them academically.

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