Berkeley Fires Women’s Swim Coach for Bullying and Bias

The University of California, Berkeley, fired Teri McKeever, its women’s swimming coach on Tuesday, the Southern California News Group reported.

The university, which interviewed 147 people and reviewed 1,700 documents, found “by a preponderance of the evidence that Coach McKeever discriminated against certain student-athletes, in certain instances, on the basis of race, national origin and disability.” The coach also engaged in bullying, a report said.

McKeever is the most successful and famous female coach in swimming history.

Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton on Tuesday released an open letter to swimmers, saying in part, “I was disturbed by what I learned in the course of reading through the report’s 482 pages that substantiate far too many allegations of unacceptable behavior. I want to apologize, on behalf of Cal Athletics, to every student-athlete who was subject to this conduct in the past, and I want to thank everyone who had the courage to come forward and share their story with the investigators.”

McKeever told the investigators that she was a victim of a double standard applied to women in jobs formerly held only by men.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever’s statement said. “There were and should be consequences for violating team rules, not showing up for scheduled appointments, misusing resources, not giving an honest effort and behavior that was not congruent with their individual or our team goals.”