Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Coach, Another Scandal

Jon Valdez, ertswhile coach of the University of Illinois Men's Gymnastics team, resigned recently for the classic 'personal reasons':
A University of Illinois gymnastics coach who trained U.S. gymnasts at the Beijing Olympics has resigned for "personal reasons," a school official said Monday, and a published report said he was being investigated for possible misconduct.

Jon Valdez left his job as men's assistant coach on Oct. 17, Assistant Athletic Director Kent Brown told The Associated Press on Monday night.
The details are slowly emerging. First came news that he was under investigation:
Responding to a Tribune inquiry, Robin Kaler, the university's associate chancellor for public affairs, said, "There is an investigation into a camera found in a locker room on campus."
The mind boggles. . . It now emerges that this is not the only thing that is on Valdez's plate:
A University of Illinois gymnastics coach who resigned this month for unspecified personal reasons is facing a drunk-driving charge in Wisconsin.

Waukesha County court records indicate that Jon Valdez was charged with operating while under the influence after his Sept. 18 arrest. He's pleaded not guilty.
Watch this space. . .

Update (1) 8:36 PM

More details from this AP story; we are dealing with a video camera:

Northcutt and university officials have declined to say whether the video camera investigation was a factor in Valdez's resignation, which the attorney said was voluntary. University police hope to finish their investigation into the video camera by the end of the week and send it to Champaign County prosecutors, who would decide whether to file charges.

"Right now, no charges have been filed. And we have not been told by anyone that charges will be filed," Northcutt said.

A student found the small wireless camera inside a locker Sept. 25, university police Lt. Roy Acree said. It was pointed out of the locker through a small opening and "would be able to capture images of people changing their clothes," he said.

He declined to say which locker room the camera was in, other than that it wasn't a room used by students outside the university's athletics programs. Acree said the camera wasn't transmitting images to a computer or over the Internet, but wouldn't say whether investigators found any stored images.

Ugly, ugly. . .

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