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Cal Poly settles with former volleyball coach

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Cal Poly has finalized a settlement with the embattled women’s volleyball coach who was repeatedly accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by his student athletes.

In the deal between the state university and Jon Stevenson, the former coach will receive most of the remaining money due to him under his prior contract, in exchange for his agreement that he won’t sue the school.

According to the terms of the settlement, provided to New Times by the Athletic Department via a Public Records Act request, Stevenson voluntarily resigned from his employment with the university on Sept. 30. He will receive $133,980, before taxes, by Jan. 15, 2012. He will also be provided with a payout for 440 hours of accrued vacation time, or $22,876, according to Senior Associate Athletic Director Phil Webb.

Also under the terms, Stevenson is prohibited from initiating contact with student athletes currently enrolled at the university, their parents, and Cal Poly coaching and Athletic Department staff. Additionally, he was required to vacate his office at a time when his former team was away on a road trip.

Neither Stevenson nor the university may pursue additional legal claims against the other as a result of the settlement.

Stevenson came to the university in July 2008 and was removed from the head coach position by Athletic Director Don Oberhelman on Sept. 1. The action came just days before an internal university investigation detailing numerous allegations of sexual harassment and bullying incidents was made public—and two days after Oberhelman told New Times he was unaware of the situation involving Stevenson.

Incidents recounted by students included allegations of Stevenson hugging and kissing athletes, inviting players to dinner, making inappropriate comments about players’ bodies, attempting to pull down one player’s pants, requesting prescription drugs from another, and making sexual references and derogatory racial comments. Some of the incidents were recorded in a 2010 investigation, others were recounted to New Times by former players.

Under the settlement, the university’s Office of Academic Personnel cannot disclose to other prospective employers why Stevenson left the university, but Stevenson is eligible to apply as a student at Cal Poly.

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