The University of California has released its report on the conduct of Yann Hufnagel, a Cal assistant basketball coach who was fired on Monday following an investigation of alleged sexual harrassment. The full report, by Cal's Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, is available above.
Hufnagel came to Cal two years ago and was a key cog in the staff's recruiting efforts, also coaching guards. He will not be accompanying the team to Spokane, Wash., for the first round of the NCAA Tournament, where the Bears are a No. 4-seed in the South Region.
Hufnagel has stated that he intends to hire a legal team to dispute the charges, and he has eight days from the issuance of the report (Monday) before the termination process formally concludes.
The Complainant accuses Hufnagel of repeatedly making unwanted innuendo and advances via text and once in person, and that the nature of their relationship while she was a reporter covering the Cal basketball team made it difficult for her to do her job. The Complainant states that "as Respondent was the singular source for obtaining information pertinent to Complainant's specific assignment at [REDACTED] Complainant was no longer able to perform her job and was let go."
From Page 11 of the report: "Complainant believed Respondent would withhold information or lie because she rebuffed his sexual advances."
Hufnagel describes the relationship between himself and the Complainant as "playful," and that his texts, including suggesting a three-way were "a joke, because he would never have a three-way with [REDACTED]."
Some details from the 23-page report:
The first "inappropriate or flirtatious" communication from Hufnagel to the Complainant occurred in "mid-November 2014" and the more-severe in-person interaction occurred on or about Jan. 24, 2015. It was the only physical interaction, the Complainant states. The relationship continued on through May of 2015, with the Complainant calling and interviewing him in April, 2015, before the Final Four. The Complainant responded to a question about that interview, saying that she interviewed Hufnagel in April 2015 for a “sunshine pumping piece.”
The Complainant says she was subsequently "let go" from her employer due to the above-stated withholding of information or the giving of misinformation on the part of Hufnagel.
The Complainant then contacted Witness 1 by phone in mid-May of 2015, to complain about Hufnagel's inappropriate electronic contacts. It is not explicit whether or not this "Witness 1" in the report is also head coach Cuonzo Martin. The Complainant then emailed Witness 1 on July 5, 2015 to detail the events of Jan. 24, 2015.
The report states that "Respondent recounted trying to “trick her” into going up to his apartment to have sex," after Cal's game against Arizona in January of 2015.
During that interaction, in the parking garage of Hufnagel's apartment complex, Hufnagel verbally acknowledged a "belief that they were going to have sex," while the Complainant "felt physically confined by Respondent within Respondent's parking garage." The Complainant had driven Hufnagel home from a meeting at Jupiter -- a local bar -- late that night.
• The investigation finds its genesis in early July, 2015.
On July 7, an Associate Athletic Director (unnamed) contacted the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination to report a potential sexual harassment of a non-affiliate (the "Complainant") by a member of UC Berkeley's coaching staff, Hufnagel.
That associate athletic director then forwarded an email that the Complainant originally sent to a Head Varsity Athletics Coach (unnamed, presumably Martin, but that is not indicated) on July 5, 2015, which detailed her concerns about enduring frequent and recurrent sexual harassment in the course of her employment for a redacted media outlet.
On August 12, 2015, OPHD reached out to the Complainant, and she responded within 24 hours and discussed her concerns via telephone. There was an in-person interview on Aug, 25, 2015. That was when the investigation -- which was finished on Monday -- began.
• The report concludes, on Page 23, that "Respondent’s conduct was pervasive in that it continued over a six-month span and consists of at least one severe incident in which Respondent caused Complainant to feel scared and physically trapped in an enclosed space controlled by Respondent while he repeatedly propositioned her for sex despite her refusals and declinations. In this way, Respondent’s conduct was objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive—repeatedly propositioning Complainant for sex and, in some cases, suggesting that her participation in sex with Respondent would grant her greater access to parts of the sports world in Respondent’s control. Further, to show the objectively offensive nature of Respondent’s communications with Complainant, Respondent stated to Investigator 1 that he would never have the types of conversations with a Cal staff member that he had with Complainant."
• The Complainant also claims that Hufnagel restricted her access to an event at Haas Pavilion in late March, 2015 -- an event that is, judging by the date, the State Championship games at Haas Pavilion, a California Interscholastic Federation event, that is not governed by Cal Athletics, Cal Basketball or the University of California, beyond the lease of the building for the event, which featured Ivan Rabb and his Bishop O'Dowd team.
Complainant: “Hey [Respondent]. [REDACTED] won’t credential me and I would like to be able to go to the [REDACTED] game tomorrow. Is there any way you can get me in?”
Respondent: “Just buy a ticket. I think that’s easy right?” “So you’re unable to help?”
Complainant: "So you're unable to help?"
Respondent: “[Photograph of Respondent and [REDACTED]]with heads together looking directly into the camera]”
Complainant: “Oh great I’ll be sure to present that picture at the door tomorrow that helps a lot[.]” -- Page 18
• The Complainant reported on Aug. 12, 2015, that Hufnagel was the "unofficial designee of UC Berkeley's Men's Basketball team regarding communications with the press surrounding [REDACTED]" (presumably recruiting), and that she had "sexually harassing communications from Respondent on a bi-weekly basis in response to Complainant's attempts to communicate with Respondent for professional purposes."
• On one occasion in January, 2015, an occasion acknowledged by both parties, Hufnagel and the Complainant drove back to his apartment.
Hufnagel states that he drove his vehicle, with the Complainant as the passenger, while the Complainant maintains that she drove her vehicle, with Hufnagel as the passenger.
After arriving at Hufnagel's apartment, the Complainant states that he then "propositioned her for sex once she had driven her car into his building's garage and Respondent had closed the garage door after it -- using a remote control in his possession."
On Page 7 of the report, that incident is detailed, from Hufnagel's point of view. After a Cal basketball game in January of 2015, the Complainant and a friend met Hufnagel at Jupiter, a restaurant on Shattuck Ave. Hufnagel said that "a few days before the game, he had asked Complainant via text message if she wanted to go out after the game." He also acknowledged in the report that this was "a sexual advance."
"In the back of my mind, I was like ... obviously [Complainant]'s willing," Hufnagel told investigators. Asked if he believed he was asking out the Complainant at that point, Hufnagel responded, "Yes."
Hufnagel recalled that the Complainant was waiting for him in the stairwell of Haas Pavilion after the game, and agreed to go. Hufnagel and the Complainant were at Jupiter for "about an hour," and Hufnagel said in the report that he did "not drink at Jupiter, because he drove."
Hufnagel then says that he drove the Complainant to his apartment, and that they were "at the apartment building briefly." He said that he asked the Complainant if she wanted to come upstairs, and she said no. He then said that he drove her back to her car, on campus.
• The Complainant's version of events differs significantly. From the report:
Complainant recalled an in-person incident involving Respondent occurring sometime prior to February 23, 2015. Complainant said she had been attempting to meet with Respondent for coffee; and Complainant attended a UC Berkeley Men’s Basketball game after which Respondent indicated he would be available for coffee. Complainant recalled waiting for an hour and a half after the game while Respondent was in a meeting. She said at about 11:30 p.m., Respondent finished the meeting and told Complainant, “We’re going to a bar.” Complainant said she wanted to find a coffee shop, but Respondent insisted on a bar; and Complainant suggested Jupiter because it had food too.
Complainant said that Respondent drank one or two beers during the two hours they met at Jupiter, after which Respondent told Complainant he was too drunk to drive home and insisted that she drive him to his residence. Complainant described that she told him “no” and suggested he take a taxi, but Respondent was insistent and Complainant ultimately acquiesced.
Complainant recalled driving Respondent to his apartment —a street corner she described as being busy. Complainant said Respondent opened his apartment building’s community parking garage for Complainant to drive her car into. Complainant said she did drive into the garage because there was no place on the street to pull over. Complainant said, once in the garage, Respondent directed her to park in a designated spot—an elevator-operated “lift” spot which would have suspended her car above the ground. Complainant said she did not park in the spot and felt Respondent was attempting to control her ability to leave. She recalled telling Respondent that she was just going to turn around; to which Respondent responded, “You’re coming up.” Complainant said she said, “No. I’m going to leave now,” but Respondent kept insisting. Complainant said she asked Respondent, “Are you thinking that I’m going to have sex with you?” to which Respondent said, “Yes.” Complainant recalled telling Respondent, “Not going to happen … … you and I are professional colleagues … not interested in you.” Complainant noted that at that point the garage door was closed behind them with her car inside and Respondent indicated that he did not intend to let her out of the garage. Complainant recalled that she felt scared and ordered Respondent, “Let me the fuck out of here.” She recalled Respondent “talked about oral sex,” “[Complainant] giving him oral sex.” Complainant estimated remaining in the garage with Respondent for about 15 minutes. During that time, Complainant recalled being in the car for most of the time and Respondent being out of the car for most of the time. Complainant said Respondent did not touch her on that occasion or any other occasion."
• Witness 1, who appears to be the same as the Varsity Athletics Coach, was interviewed by the investigators, and his statement, taken on Oct. 25, 2015 starts on Page 6 of the report: "Witness 1 said that he never dealt with Complainant regarding media. Witness 1 recalled that Complainant called him in May 2015 and said, “I want to talk to you about one of your assistant coaches.” Witness 1 confirmed that Complainant initially contacted him on Twitter and he sent her his telephone number. Witness 1 said he had a brief discussion with Complainant during the telephone call; but he denied that she provided any details or described anything as constituting sexual harassment. Witness 1 recalled Complainant telling him that she went to Respondent’s house, she drove Respondent home, and Respondent only had two drinks. Witness 1 said Complainant did not elaborate further. Witness 1 recalled asking Complainant if she felt mistreated. Witness 1 said he did not recall Complainant asserting that she did feel mistreated and he told Complainant, “I’ll have [Respondent] call you.” Witness 1 said that Complainant never indicated that a call from Respondent to address her concerns would not be welcome. Witness 1 recalled telling Complainant, “Proceed how you need to proceed,” and left it at that. Witness 1 said he followed up with Respondent to see if he had called Complainant. Witness 1 recalled that Respondent told him he had left Complainant a message. Witness 1 recalled that his last communication with Complainant was by email in which he asked her, “How do you want me to proceed?” and Complainant never responded. Witness 1 said that he did not have any further conversations with Respondent or the Athletics Department staff about the matter. Witness 1 said that he has not received any other complaints about Respondent."
The discrepancies in the stories of the Complainant and Hufnagel (who drove which car, how long were they in the garage -- 5, 10 or 15 minutes -- and what was said, etc.), investigators say, are irrelevant.
While Respondent’s and Complainant’s versions of whose car they drove into the parking garage and how long they were in the parking garage differ, those discrepancies have little bearing on the facts relevant to the issue at hand. Respondent agrees that he asked Complainant more than once to come upstairs, possibly told her he believed they were going to have sex, and Complainant told him, “No.” -- Page 22
• The report further details text exchanges between Hufnagel and the Complainant, starting on page 15.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 – 4:09 p.m.
Complainant: “Coffee soon [smiling emoticon]”
Respondent: “I’m only coming if [REDACTED] comes too.”
Complainant: “You guys are so in love!”
Respondent: “That’s my man. No [REDACTED] no coffee.”
Respondent: “I was?”
Complainant: “That’s when it’s real[.]”
Respondent: “It’s only real when you’re in the apartment with me and [REDACTED] That’s when it’s real.”
Complainant: “Omg [three emoticons of a laughing until crying face][.]”
Respondent: “[Emoticon of a smug/flirty face] We’ll do the coffee first …”
Complainant: “So you’re making coffee for the three of us[?]
Respondent: “The coffee will be at Starbucks.”
Complainant: “No apartment necessary[.]”
Respondent: “For coffee, no.”
Complainant: “So you’re making us food at your house?! You’re the best[.]”
Respondent: “Funny. Really the only two places I am in my apartment are the bed and the couch …”
Complainant: “So you’re saying you do all of your meal preparation in the living room[?] Unconventional[,] [b]ut I guess it works!”
• On March 23, 2015, at 7:32 a.m., the Complainant asks a question about some news event, presumably, whether a recruit visited. Her original question is redacted, but Hufnagel's response is "No."
Complainant: "Literally no truth to that?"
Hufnagel: "I'm in [L.A.] We have no1 [sic] on campus today."
The Complainant asks why what is presumed to be another media outlet is reporting the redacted event.
Hufnagel responds that "He did. Last night."
Complainant responds: "[Respondent] are you actually trying to make me look bad[?] You understand exactly what you just did [a]nd there's no reason for it[.]"
Hufnagel responds to that assertion by saying. "In regards to Complainant’s assertion about Respondent intentionally providing her with misinformation, Respondent stated that information is fluid and it changes."
In the initial interview with the OPHD, the Complainant reported that she "refused Respondent's sexual advances" and that Hufnagel then "ceased providing [REDACTED] information to Complainant."
• The Complainant reported that "as Respondent was the singular source for obtaining information pertinent to Complainant's specific assignment at [REDACTED] Complainant was no longer able to perform her job and was let go."
Respondent denied that he was less helpful to Complainant about supplying information to Complainant after the mid-March 2015 text exchange; and he cited as an example the fact that she called to interview him on a Thursday in April before the Final Four. Respondent said that the April interview lasted over an hour and they had a good conversation. Respondent further asserted that he and Complainant had several interactions over the telephone and by text during which there were no date requests or innuendos made
In regards to Complainant’s assertion about Respondent intentionally providing her with misinformation, Respondent stated that information is fluid and it changes. Respondent acknowledged telling Complainant that [REDACTED], but Respondent explained that he was under Witness 1’s orders not to tell anyone in the media about the visit. Respondent said he told no less than ten other reporters the same information about that he told to Complainant. Respondent said he told [REDACTED] on the telephone that [REDACTED] ; and Respondent stated he was okay with Investigator 1 contacting [REDACTED] to confirm this information. Respondent asserted that even if he did mislead Complainant with the [REDACTED] information, it was not related to the fact that Complainant turned down his sexual advances. Respondent said that it is part of his job to mislead and redirect media.
Respondent recalled that on May 22, 2015, Complainant texted him to ask what was happening [REDACTED] Respondent said he had seen on a message board that [REDACTED] and responded to Complainant’s text with the word, [REDACTED] Respondent said that such information was incredibly damaging to UC Berkeley and Respondent himself, and Respondent would not want that information getting out. Respondent showed the Investigator a post published on [REDACTED] Cal message board stating, “From Cal BB staff member, [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] Respondent stated he received a screenshot from Witness 1 asking him about the source of the information. Respondent then called Complainant and told her that he found her actions very unprofessional. Respondent said that after he “read [Complainant] the riot act,” he deleted her telephone number and told her, “take [the post] down and never call me again.”
-- Page 9 of the OPHD Report, Section C, Respondent's Statement
The Complainant asserted a belief that Respondent had used text messages about and" photographs of [REDACTED] to convey to Complainant a message that Respondent “owned” [REDACTED] and Complainant should not try to have a good relationship with [REDACTED]." She believed that Hufnagel was trying to tell her that he still had the power to control the media messages—even if she was trying to circumnavigate him and go to another source for information.