Niagara Women’s Swimmers Sue University For Alleged Harassment by Men’s Team

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

According to a report from The Buffalo News, a member of the Niagara University women’s swimming team and two of her former teammates have sued the university, charging that they and others were sexually harassed by members of the men’s swimming team, with the knowledge of their coach.

The plaintiffs are current senior Natassja Posso, former swimmer Jaime Rolf, who quit the team in 2018, and an unidentified former diver who graduated in 2018. The suit says that the three women sought treatment for depression, while the diver “suffered from anxiety and depression.”

They said that head men’s and women’s coach Ben Nigro failed to take control of the matter and told the women to ignore the men and that they were just immature, saying, “90% is how you react and 10% is what they do.” He also said, “Boys will be boys,” according to the lawsuit.

The unnamed diver also alleged she complained to the assistant athletic director in 2016 about Nigro’s response to an incident in which a male swimmer had sex with a female recruit. According to the lawsuit, Nigro’s response was “He must not have been very good since she (the recruit) is not coming to NU.”

The university field a statement on Tuesday.

“We are aware of a lawsuit that was recently filed in federal court. Niagara University’s foremost priority is the well-being of every member of our campus community.

“We proceed with due diligence to examine any issue that is brought forward that may compromise our culture, while ensuring that we do not rush to judgment or reach conclusions before the completion of the process. Where it is necessary and appropriate, the university engages independent investigators. To ensure the integrity of the process, and out of respect for every individual involved, we do not comment on ongoing matters.”

Nigro is in his 14th year at Niagara.

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