An article in Sports Illustrated features interviews with women who say they were victims of “a toxic” men’s soccer team in being sexually harassed and assaulted. The University of San Francisco team has won many national championships, but has also built up a reputation on campus that focuses on the way players treat women. A report commissioned by the university “identified 11 soccer players accused of engaging in sexual misconduct over the past decade,” but Sports Illustrated found women who did not speak to the investigators.
Father Paul J. Fitzgerald, president of the university, sent a letter to the campus Friday in which he said, “The Sports Illustrated story highlights serious harms that occurred within our USF community. I recognize the immense courage it takes for someone to speak about their experiences with sexual violence and misconduct. Thank you to those who have shared, reported, and spoken out. Thank you to those who are supporting someone who has experienced sexual violence and misconduct. The specific accounts by former students and survivors detailed in the story are heartbreaking and no one should have these experiences.”
He also said that new officials and new policies were designed to prevent the kinds of problems detailed in the article.