Harvard Diving Coach Placed on Leave For Sexual Misconduct

Photo Courtesy: Matthew W. DeShaw/The Harvard Crimson

In a report from The Harvard Crimson and CNN, Harvard Diving Coach Chris Heaton, who was recently hired in August, was placed on leave after a class-action suit filed in an Indiana court alleged that the 31-year-old solicited nude pictures from female athletes at an Indiana Diving Academy, also known as Ripfest.

The suit also claims Heaton sent sexually explicit photos of himself to the female athletes at the academy.

The suit says Heaton’s athletes began complaining about his behavior to his superiors in 2015.

Heaton was hired by Harvard in August 2018, but Harvard was unaware of the allegations of misconduct at the time, according to university spokeswoman Rachael Dane.

“Upon learning of allegations of sexual misconduct from media reports, Harvard immediately placed Mr. Heaton on leave, pending a review by Harvard University,” she said in a statement obtained by CNN.

The lawsuit, which was filed September 30 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, details Heaton’s alleged inappropriate behavior and students’ frequent, but unsuccessful, attempts to alert Ripfest president John Wingfield.

According to the suit, Wingfield was “dismissive of the female athletes’ complaints about Heaton.” The lawsuit also states that the athletes turned to Chris Zukas, another Ripfest coach, as he “was instrumental in getting Heaton to leave Ripfest,” the suit states.

CNN and The Harvard Crimson contributed to this report.


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  2. MK Mahoney

    Why do they not learn from the sins of others…

  3. Jennifer Brurok Podlin

    Disgusting. Harvard has turned into a pathetic embarrassment. Wouldn’t let my kids go there if it was free.

  4. Noria Gaier

    Reading from other side of the world, it seems endemic in the US Swimming! Sad😢😢

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    Get him to leave. Call the police! This is why it continues boys protecting the boys.