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The Associated Press
Monday 14 May 2007
University of Georgia
women's golf coach quits
after player complaints
by CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Todd McCorkle's sudden decision to resign as the women's golf coach at Georgia last week followed complaints from players about his inappropriate sexual comments and jokes, according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
McCorkle's resignation was announced May 7 and came three days after a memo in which he was told he would have to go through extensive anti-harassment training and would be suspended without pay for July. McCorkle instead quit, but athletic director Damon Evans said he would remain employed in another undisclosed job with the athletic department.
In the memo, University of Georgia executive director for legal affairs Steve Shewmaker told McCorkle several players had complained about the behavior of the SEC co-coach of year.
"We also recommend a close supervision of your interactions with your team, as any further conduct on your part that is a violation of this policy should result in immediate additional disciplinary action, up to and including termination of your employment with the university," the memo reads.
The 44-year-old McCorkle said Monday he was not asked to resign, but acknowledged the "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 my tenure at Georgia I have unintentionally made comments that have made some of my players uncomfortable," McCorkle said in a statement. "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."
The memo was one of several documents obtained in response to an open records request by the AP. The documents included 48 pages of handwritten notes by school investigators from interviews with current and former players.
McCorkle was said to have shared a sexually explicit Paris Hilton video from the Internet with the team. Players reported McCorkle shared remarks about bras and underwear color. Other comments were more explicit, referring to male anatomy. There was a mention by one player of inappropriate physical contact.
"He is randomly rubbing your back or flipping hair, or pat on butt -- and otherwise not think anything about it -- but with all the other stuff feels wrong," the unidentified player wrote.
The university's investigation began in April. Art Leon, the father of Georgia's top player, Taylor Leon, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution his complaints to Evans led to the investigation.
"I'm the person that initiated it," Leon told the paper. "He doesn't need to be a coach of women's golf anywhere. He got what he deserved."
Leon, the SEC player of the year, helped the No. 3 Bulldogs advance to next week's NCAA Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. Assistant Veronique Drouin has served as interim coach since McCorkle's resignation.
McCorkle guided Georgia 2001 NCAA title, a year after he was hired from Arizona.
The memo from Shewmaker informed McCorkle he violated the university's Non-Discrimination Anti-Harassment Policy.
"This finding is based, in part, on your statements made during our investigation," Shewmaker wrote. "For example, you admitted you told one of the team members she looked 'sexy' on the way to the SEC tournament banquet."
Shewmaker added: "Your comments 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."
McCorkle said last week he was leaving the team to assist his wife, LPGA golfer Jenna Daniels, with her career. McCorkle coached Arizona to the 2000 NCAA title.
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