Austin Fiascone, the ex-Utah swimmer whose complaints against coach Greg Winslow last fall were blown off by the university administration, now faces a hearing by the dean of students on vague “harassment” charges. This development is holding up Fiascone’s final grades and threatens his graduation next month. It is impossible not to wonder whether Fiascone himself is not the one being harassed — and retaliated against.
In February, a month after the campus Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action cleared Winslow in Fiascone’s complaint, Concussion Inc. reported the recommendation of Arizona State University police that Winslow be charged with two felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor swimmer he coached at an ASU youth club, and later at Utah. In the ensuing national scandal, Winslow was suspended, then fired, and the university set up an “independent” investigation of its original failed investigation.
Austin Fiascone was notified of the harassment allegations in a letter by associate dean Lori McDonald. In the Kafkaesque world of “academic due process,” the Fiascones are not being told any specifics of the charges or the identities of the accusers — only that “two different students” claimed he had made statements to them “perceived as intimating [sic], coercive, and hostile.”
(We will contact Utah for comment during business hours tomorrow.)
Matt Fiascone, Austin’s father, revealed this latest twist in a statement he seeks to have entered into the record at Tuesday’s meeting of the university board of trustees. In the statement, the senior Fiascone also says:
“My son and I were contacted quickly after the March 25 announcement of the ‘reconfigured’ investigation. Among the first requests from the investigating team was a list of people we felt were important to include in the interview process in order to avoid, to the extent possible, the failed results of the Office of Equal Opportunity’s investigation. I provided an extensive list and noted 5 individuals who would be critical to the investigation. They are critical because they represent a subset of people who were first hand witnesses, victims themselves and/or in a position to report abuse well prior to February, 2013. The testimony of these 5 people will certainly lead to more questions of others involved and therefore it was my suggestion to interview these people as early in the process as possible for efficiency. Instead, I know for certain that some, if not all, of these 5 people have not even been contacted by the investigators.”