Comments cost McCorkle his job

ATHENS – Documents released Monday by the University of Georgia cast further light on the sudden resignation of former women's golf coach Todd McCorkle, who was found in violation of the university's Non-Discrimination Anti-Harassment Policy after repeated sexually inappropriate remarks to team members.

Steve Shewmaker, Georgia's executive director of legal affairs, sent a letter to McCorkle on May 4 detailing his transgressions and listing the school's definition of sexual harassment. The letter stated that McCorkle's behavior "had the effect of creating a hostile or offensive environment which interfered with the team members' ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity."

The letter also informed McCorkle that the legal affairs office had recommended he be required to attend discrimination and harassment training and be suspended without pay for the month of July. When athletics director Damon Evans and associate athletic director Craig White met with McCorkle to discuss the findings of the investigation, the coach resigned.

McCorkle, who has declined public comment since his resignation, released a statement through the school Monday.

"In my tenure at Georgia, I have unintentionally made comments that have made some of my players uncomfortable," the statement read. "I want to be clear in saying that this was not my intention or desire. I have learned through this experience that I must be 100 percent professional at all times. I would like to thank the University of Georgia for all the opportunities they have afforded me. Life is full of learning experiences and unfortunately this experience has cost me something that is dear to both me and my family. Although I was not asked to resign, this situation has placed a cloud over the program and I felt like it was in everyone's best interest for me to step down."

In response to an open records request by several media outlets, the university released Shewmaker's letter to McCorkle along with notes from meetings between Shewmaker and his assistant Amanda Bates and McCorkle, current Bulldog golfers and former Bulldog golfers.

Several team members said in those interviews that the players had no respect for their coach and at least one said she was "miserable" on the team, the documents state.

According to Shewmaker's and Bates' notes, McCorkle, among other things, made reference to an inappropriate video circulating on the Internet, showed team members a copy of Victoria's Secret lingerie catalog and asked if a model looked like a person the players knew, bought Maxim and FHM men's magazines on road trips with the team, made disparaging remarks about the female coach at another school, touched at least one team member in a way that made her uncomfortable, including patting her on the butt.

McCorkle told one team member she looked "sexy" and repeatedly told inappropriate sexual jokes, according to the documents.

One team member told UGA investigators that the fact that McCorkle is married to Jenna Daniels, who played for him at the University of Arizona, gave his words and actions a more ominous feel.

Shewmaker declined to comment on his notes but said that his office sent McCorkle the May 4 letter within 14 days of receiving its first complaint.

The father of one team member met with McCorkle in April to demand the behavior stop, according to the documents.

Team members also complained about McCorkle's coaching style, claiming he derided them in front of other teams, often used profanity in his criticisms and spoke poorly of them to the coach of another team, according to the documents.

In his interview with UGA investigators, McCorkle admitted referring to a team member as sexy but denied making other comments, including one particularly profane joke alleged by one team member in an interview with UGA investigators.

McCorkle also said he felt some of his comments were "overblown" and said some of his golfers were "not team players," according to the documents released by UGA. He also claimed to have eliminated his joke telling.

At the time of his resignation, McCorkle was just weeks removed from being named SEC coach of the year for the second time in his seven years at Georgia. He led the Bulldogs to their only national title, in 2001. McCorkle will remain at Georgia in an unspecified role, according to a release by the athletic department last week.


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