More than a dozen former members of the Cal women’s swimming and diving program filed a lawsuit against the University of California over alleged negligence surrounding former Cal women’s swim coach Teri McKeever, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday.
“Plaintiffs were not prepared for the verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse inflicted on them by Coach McKeever, assistant coaches, and deputized senior swimmers,” the lawsuit alleges.
UC Berkeley fired McKeever in late January after a monthslong investigation by a law firm hired by campus. The final report concluded that there was a “preponderance” of evidence that McKeever violated applicable university policies after surveying 1,700 documents and 147 interviews.
The plaintiffs belonged to the program at different times, going as far back as 2000 and as recently as 2020, according to the lawsuit.
McKeever is not listed as a defendant, only the UC Board of Regents. The document lists a complaint for damages, alleging negligence, negligent supervision or retention, negligent failure to warn, train or educate, as well as negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In March, it was also reported by Southern California News Group that UC Berkeley had allegedly started a formal investigation into Cal’s athletic director Jim Knowlton and associate athletic director Jennifer Simon-O’Neill.
Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said campus cannot provide information that could violate the privacy rights of students or employees, per California law. He reiterated campus’s previous response on the matter, citing a court of law as “the only appropriate venue for litigation.”
“When the current leadership of Cal Athletics is made aware of allegations that policies have been violated, or of complaints about employee behavior, they respond appropriately,” the campus statement reads. “The university evaluates all allegations of policy violations that are presented to us by on-the-record complainants.”
Check back for updates.