In the days following Wisconsin’s Rose Bowl loss to Oregon, rumors were swirling that something inappropriate involving a UW official and a student had occurred on the California trip. On Jan. 6, associate athletic director John Chadima was placed on administrative leave for unspecified misconduct and subsequently resigned later that same day.
Now, unfortunately, we know the rest of the story.
In a report released by the university very late Tuesday night, the school acknowledged that Chadima had made unwanted sexual advances toward an unnamed male student employee during a party prior to the Rose Bowl. According to an investigative panel formed by the school to look into the incident, upwards of 30 people attended a party Dec. 30 thrown by Chadima in his California hotel suite. At some point very early in the morning of Dec. 31, Chadima and the male — identified as “John Doe” in the report — were the only individuals left in the suite.
After everyone else had had vacated the premises, the two decided to have some additional rum-based beverages. And then Chadima alone decided to grab the man’s crotch.
Seated at a corner table Chadima told Doe he and other student employees “thought [Doe] might be gay.” Doe told investigators he watched in shock as Chadima then removed Doe’s belt and put his hand down Doe’s pants, touching his genitals.
After Doe slapped Chadima’s hand away, Chadima allegedly retorted, “I thought you liked it,” asked, “What are you going to do about it?” and told Doe, “I could have you fired.”
Soon after, Doe told supervisors about the incident, but said he did not want them to take immediate action out of fear of disrupting the football team’s Rose Bowl preparations.
The student employee informed his immediate supervisor at 3:15 a.m. of the incident, which ultimately prompted an investigation that included interviews of 23 individuals.
Additionally, the investigation uncovered text messages from Chadima to another student employee, the Daily Cardinal wrote, “in which Chadima demanded the student come to his hotel suite and threatened to fire him if he did not comply.”
In a statement released by Chadima, the ex-UW official blamed alcohol for the incidents that led to the end of his career at the school.
“I make no excuses and have come to the realization that over the past few months, alcohol had controlled and consumed my life,” Chadima said in the statement. “I am taking steps to correct that problem in my life at this time. I take full responsibility for my lack of judgment and actions that evening.”
Interim UW chancellor David Ward released his own statement alongside the report.
“Throughout this process, it was my intent to provide the highest level of transparency possible without compromising the integrity of the process,” Ward said. “We care deeply for the welfare of the individual, who is an adult, and who brought this issue to our attention. We also appreciate the efforts of those who responded in accordance with our reporting processes and procedures.”