John Hefti / USA TODAY Sports

Cal assistant coach Yann Hufnagel, embroiled in sexual harassment scandal, provides texts, says interactions were mutual flirtation

The University review process for Yann Hufnagel's termination is still ongoing, after it was supposed to end on March 25, as the ousted Cal basketball assistant's legal team provides over 900 text messages to UC Berkeley officials.

Former California basketball assistant Yann Hufnagel's legal team has provided over 900 text messages between himself and his sexual harassment accuser -- a female reporter who covered the team -- showing what they call "mutual flirtation" with the reporter.

“The University has wronged an innocent person, and it must correct its error," said the 33-year old Hufnagel's attorney, Mary McNamara.

Hufnagel and his attorneys met with UC Berkeley officials on March 23, and is currently on paid leave pending the result of the still-ongoing review after the University began termination proceedings on March 14, 2016.

Asked why Hufnagel did not bring to bear these text messages during the initial investigation by the University's Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, Hufnagel's PR crisis manager, Sam Singer (not Cal's point guard) said that University investigators "only asked Yann Hufnagel about three [texts] that they had been provided from the complainant. They never asked him for any additional information."

"The investigators could not be more clear on this point: They explicitly requested any information or materials that Mr. Hufnagel felt were relevant or corroborated his account," University spokesman Dan Moguloff said in an e-mail to BearTerritory. "After initially providing about a dozen text messages, he did follow-up with two additional emails and attachments—that and no more---the week after his interview with an investigator. In other words, there was nothing preventing him from submitting anything that he believed to be relevant and helpful—quite the contrary, he was urged to ... I am also unclear how an investigator could ask about a text exchange that was withheld from the investigation."

Hufnagel did acknowledge in the report that he "was trying to trick" the reporter into his apartment to have sex in an incident in his apartment garage on Jan. 24, 2015, and that "as a coach there should be no sexual undertones at all," in text messages with a reporter" (page 8).

One such text from the reporter reads: "Is my favorite assistant coach in has [sic]?" Hufnagel replies that he is in Las Vegas. The Complainant then says she was going to "come say hi to you if you were[.]"

In another text, the Complainant says, "I clearly have to step up my stalking game. Have fun in Vegas doing whatever it is you'r mysteriously doing."

Hufnagel asks if she is stalking him, or who he's recruiting. The Complainant says, "I don't discriminate." A press release from Singer, contends that, among the over 900 messages is evidence that "unequivocally demonstrates [Hufnagel's] innocence in alleged sexual harassment charges."

The Complainant says, in the official report, that Hufnagel sent her harassing messages about once every two weeks, starting in November of 2014, according to Page 23 of the report by the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.

"These texts demonstrate a mutually flirtatious relationship invited and often initiated by the Complainant," Hufnagel's team asserts. "She also told investigators that Mr. Hufnagel’s texts were unwelcome, that she was never “encouraging” of this behavior, and that she “deflected” this behavior when it occurred." 

In a series of texts from several days after the stalking comment, on Dec. 20, 2014, at 1:21 a.m., the Complainant asks Hufnagel if he is celebrating "at kip's or somewhere equally cool," and then later, after Hufnagel affirms that he's been to several other bars during his time in Berkeley, the Complainant says, "Okay because otherwise we were gonna have to do an emergency dive bar tour of Berkeley."

Hufnagel's legal team contends, "The evidence completely contradicts her claim that she was the unwilling recipient of sexual innuendo because the texts show she was actively engaged and most often the initiator of text message conversations."

In a conversation from January of 2015, just over a week before the incident inside Hufnagel's apartment garage -- where the Complainant alleged he cornered her and propositioned her for sex -- the Complainant asks, unprompted, what Hufnagel's favorite pace to eat in Berkeley is. "You realize that Berkeley has like the best food of anywhere right" the text reads.

Hufnagel responded, "Chez panisse upstairs." The Complainant responded that "[u]pstairs is for poor people." Hufnagel asked, "u an all downstairs girl then?" The Complainant responds, "Just kidding sorry I always forget my sense of humor may not translate and is potentially offensive," and then sends another text immediately afterward, saying, "I'm both [an upstairs and downstairs girl]."

Hufnagel responds that "upstairs is on me and downstairs is on you," to which the Complainant says, "Hahahahaaaaaaaa [...] That actually made me laugh out loud".

One day later, when relaying a conversation she had with a recruit, the reporter recalls the conversation about Chez Panisse, and tells Hufnagel that she told the recruit, "I was like yeah Yanni is the best, all the guys love him" and then she seems to suggest he take her to Chez Panisse: "Downstairs on you." The conversation continues on with Hufnagel continuing to talk to the reporter about which recruits he will be seeing at a tournament. He then says, "Dinner on u at chez penise [sic] downstairs next week u seem like u got the juice to get a rez[.]" The Complainant responds, "Of course I can get a rez. Glad you like to abbrev. And that's hilar about it being on me. I'm among the impoverished street people upstairs [...] Unless someone is taking me and then downstairs is [OK emoji.]"

Though only several message exchanges were provided to BearTerritory, Hufnagel's legal team has furnished many more to the University, with more expected to be released soon.

The statement from Hufnagel's PR team, in part, also reads: "The record also shows that at no time during the six month period at issue did Mr. Hufnagel withhold information from the sports reporter; in fact, he went out of his way to help the reporter every time she requested information, thus debunking her claims that he used this information as leverage."

From Page 11 of the report on Hufnagel: "Complainant believed Respondent would withhold information or lie because she rebuffed his sexual advances."

Texts from the period after the alleged incident in Hufnagel's parking garage (Jan. 23, 2015), which his legal team has intimated to BearTerritory may not have been relayed accurately in the OPHD report, were not provided.

“It is appropriate for the University to take a strong stand against sexual harassment, but this is simply the wrong case in which to do so,” McNamara said.  

The report on the Hufnagel investigation by the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination was provided to BearTerritory on March 15 at 1:06 p.m., within just over 24 hours of a Public Records Act request (made on March 14 at 10:46 a.m., as soon as it was announced that termination proceedings had begun). That report had been finished on March 14, after a seven-month investigation.

The Office of Public Records at UC Berkeley's FAQ page states that documents requested will be provided within 10-24 days, at the latest, from the initial request. When BearTerritory requested the OPHD sexual harassment reports, from the same Office of Public Records, on the cases of vice chancellor of research Graham Fleming, astronomy professor Geoffrey Marcy and law school dean Sunjit Choudhry -- reports that had been finished on Oct. 24, 2014 (Flemming), June 22, 2015 (Marcy) and July 7, 2015 (Choudhry) -- the documents took nine days to furnish, being provided to BearTerritory on April 1, 2016.

Choudhry was still the dean of Berkeley Law until he resigned on March 10, 2016. Marcy did not step down from his professorship until Oct. 14, 2015. Fleming -- a tenured chemistry professor -- was removed from his administrative position with Berkeley Global Campus on March 11, after taking a sabbatical following sexual harassment allegations against him. He resigned from his post as the vice chancellor for research in April of 2015, after which he took the role of Berkeley Global Campus Ambassador.

It must be noted that UC President Janet Napolitano issued an email to the chancellors of the UC Campuses on March 11, 2016, detailing and emphasizing tougher new sexual harassment and sexual violence measures that the UCOP would introduce, measures detailed further in an email obtained by BearTerritory, dated March 18, 2016. Top Stories