Women's soccer coach Brendan Faherty is out at Yale, the school announced Wednesday, amid allegations that he groped one former player and had a consensual sexual relationship with another.
Faherty's alleged conduct, reported on Wednesday night by the Yale Daily News, is said to have occurred while he coached at the University of New Haven from 2003-09. According to the Daily News, Faherty insisted a player sleep in his bed with him after he drove her back to New Haven from a concert in New York, then touched her breasts under her shirt. Another former player told the newspaper that she engaged with him in a consensual relationship while active on his team and now feels that she was "exploited."
"It was consensual in that it was not forced," the player told the Daily News. "I do, however, remember feeling kind of frozen, like I couldn't believe it was actually happening ... He had been a trusted adult in my life and he was older than me, so it seemed surreal that he would even have an interest in me in that way."
The Daily News also reported that Faherty drank with players and regularly met them at bars.
In a statement, Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart said the school did not know about Faherty's alleged behavior until the Daily News shared its reporting earlier this week.
"Yale hired women's head soccer coach Brendan Faherty in December of 2018, following the background check and careful review of previous employment conducted in every such hiring," Peart said. "On November 18, 2019, the Yale Daily News shared deeply troubling information with the university, none of which was made known to the university in the interview and vetting process. As of November 20, 2019, Mr. Faherty is no longer employed by the university."
Athletic director Victoria Chun said in a statement that "no information regarding these allegations" came up during the school's interview and vetting process when hiring Faherty.
"We fully support the women's soccer team; I am meeting with them to offer resources during this difficult time and I look forward to charting a new path forward together," Chun said. "We know change is hard, but also know the strength and resiliency of our women's soccer team will shine through this difficult time. Our student athletes are at the center of our decisions, and we know this is the right path forward."
Faherty was hired at Yale late last year after stints at New Haven and Stony Brook. He replaced Rudy Meredith, who coached the team for 24 years before abruptly resigning. He later pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with the college admissions scandal that became national news earlier this year. Meredith was recorded in an FBI sting operation, agreeing to take a $450,000 bribe from a parent to recruit the child to his team.
Yale went 11-4-1 in Faherty's only season as coach. Moving forward, assistant coaches Sarah Martinez and Sade Ayinde will lead Yale's program on an interim basis, the school announced.
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