Cal begins termination proceedings against basketball assistant Yann Hufnagel due to sexual harassment policy violation

The Cal basketball team has begun termination proceedings against assistant coach Yann Hufnagel, and he will not travel for the NCAA Tournament.

UPDATE 12:09 p.m.: A source has revealed the contents of an internal email from Cal, stating some of the details surrounding the incident in question.

The source said that the investigation "began last summer and concluded today."

Specifically, the investigation began last August, 2015, and concluded on Monday. The complainant is confidential, the source said, and the complaint detailed a series of communications and behaviors over a period from November 2014 to May 2015, as part of professional communications related to the complainant's work. Hufnagel will be paid, pending final termination.

"It caught people on the staff completely off-guard," said the source, who requested anonymity.

Updated 7:51 p.m.: A source close to Martin said that the Hufnagel situation is in no way related to Martin's contract situation or the delay on extension talks. University representative Dianne Klein issued a statement:

"The recent connection that has been drawn between the ongoing contract discussions with UC Berkeley’s head men's basketball coach and the current situation regarding the notice of intent to terminate Assistant Coach Hufnagel is inaccurate. Coach Martin is the Cal men’s basketball coach. We look forward to finalizing his contract."

Martin is still working under the terms of his offer sheet, and has not yet signed his formal contract, after being hired in April of 2014. A source said to expect a contract to be signed within the next 48 hours.

California announced that it will begin termination proceedings against men's basketball assistant coach Yann Hufnagel, effective immediately.

According to multiple sources, the complainant in the sexual harassment report is a female reporter who was covering the basketball program at the time.

The recruiting specialist, who has also worked with the guards during his two-year stint in Berkeley, will not be traveling with the Golden Bears to Spokane, Wash., for the NCAA Tournament. Hufnagel came to Cal from Vanderbilt when head coach Cuonzo Martin hired him upon arriving in Berkeley.

"You're talking about a guy who's a part of your staff, and a family member, because we take a tremendous amount of pride in that, but we continue to push forward," said Martin, when speaking on a conference call late Monday morning about the Bears' trip to face Hawaii in Spokane, Wash., for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. "There are always bumps in the road, but as a program, we have to deal with life things, things that will come up, how we deal with them, we talk through them and we continue to push forward. It's not an easy thing, but we'll find a way."

A statement from the University and the Athletic Department reads:

California’s head men’s basketball coach, Cuonzo Martin, has initiated termination proceedings under University of California policy against assistant coach, Yann Hufnagel, Cal’s Intercollegiate Athletics Department announced today. Effective immediately, Hufnagel has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of the termination process and will not be traveling with the team during its NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament run. The actions follow a finding, issued today by UC Berkeley’s Office of the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) that Hufnagel violated the University’s sexual harassment policy.

According to Hufnagel's twitter:

Hufnagel told ESPN: "I'm crushed. I can't believe it. I'm blindsided. I never imagined this would be the outcome." He further said that he will be hiring a legal team to "exonerate my name."

The sexual harassment charges come in the wake of several sexual harassment incidents at UC Berkeley.

Berkeley Law School Dean Sujit Choudhry resigned after a sexual harassment lawsuit, alleging that he hugged, kissed and touched his assistant during 2014 and 2015. He continues to receive full faculty pay and may still teach. Nearly a year ago, in April, Graham Fleming resigned as Vice Chancellor for Research amidst sexual harassment allegations from his top assistant. Fleming, though he went on sabbatical following the allegations, has spent the last 10 months assisting Chancellor Nicholas Dirks with finding research collaborators for Global Campus, but UC President Janet Napolitano ordered him removed from that job last week.

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