U. of Iowa president to review sex harassment case

U. of Iowa president to review sex harassment case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) University of Iowa President Sally Mason said Tuesday she is reviewing the school's handling of an athletics department official who resigned after being accused of improperly touching student athletes for years.

Peter Gray, 59, resigned last week after working for the last decade at the athletics department, where he was in charge of monitoring the academic progress of student-athletes. An internal report, obtained by the Iowa City Press-Citizen, concluded that Gray violated the university's sexual harassment policy by rubbing, massaging shoulders and hugging students and athletes - behavior that allegedly took place since 2002 and also marked an earlier employment stint at Iowa from 1993 to 1995.

Gray also made comments of a sexual nature to recruits and parents, gave football tickets to someone outside the university in exchange for nude photographs and made other sexual overtures and comments, the report says.

Mason announced her review one day after leaders of the Iowa Board of Regents met by conference call to discuss the case and requested more information from the university. Board President Craig Lang said it is important that regents play an oversight role but that he would withhold comment until he gathers the facts later this week.

Mason said in a statement that she could not comment on the details of the case because it is a confidential personal matter.

``I want to assure you that we are continuing to review all the details regarding this matter and how it was handled,'' Mason said. ``Once all the facts are known, I will take all necessary actions that are warranted. My priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff.''

Regent Bob Downer of Iowa City questioned in an interview Tuesday why Gray was rehired in 2002 if there were concerns about him before he left in 1995, and he called for a review of university policy on rehiring employees. He also wanted to know more about how those who complained about Gray's behavior were treated, saying campus should be free from inappropriate sexual conduct.

Phone numbers for Gray were disconnected, and nobody answered the door at an Iowa City address for him. Gray, whose salary was $73,000, counseled athletes at the Gerdin Athletic Learning Center.

``The touching was described as overly friendly, prolonged in nature, and generally inappropriate for a professional in an academic advising or work setting,'' the report says.

Some student athletes ``reacted in a visceral and visible manner indicating discomfort,'' according to the report, which followed an investigation into a formal complaint the university filed with its Office of Equity and Diversity.

Some colleagues also requested not to work with Gray, the report says. Gray's supervisor acknowledged receiving complaints from employees, coaches and at least one athlete about Gray's behavior at work and ``local establishments'' where students gather, and that he had admonished him several times, it says.

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters on Tuesday that Gray had worked with members of the football team in the past but had not done so for a while. He did not elaborate on when Gray stopped counseling his players or why that came about.

Gray acknowledged using a photo of male swim team members posing in their swimsuits as a screensaver on his work computer, where investigators found other pictures showing individuals engaged in sex acts with toys or stuffed animals and individuals in underwear and swimsuits.

Gray gave football tickets and money in 2011 to someone not affiliated with Iowa as ``an incentive, gratitude or appreciation.'' That person sent him three nude photographs.

University of Iowa police said Monday they aren't investigating Gray. But the department released an incident report showing he was linked to an investigation into ``improper use of complimentary tickets by athletic staff.'' That case was closed last month after officers did not find evidence of a crime, said associate director of public safety David Visin.

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Lamar Jackson becomes first QB to rush at least 70 yards in five straight starts

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Lamar Jackson becomes first QB to rush at least 70 yards in five straight starts

With Lamar Jackson under center for the past five games, the Ravens offense’ has relied on his legs to move the ball. The rookie quarterback has struggled at times throwing the ball, but utilizing the read options, Jackson has had no such problems making an impact. 

On Sunday against the Buccaneers, Jackson had 100 yards rushing going into the fourth quarter. With that, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least 70 yards in five straight starts.  The streak started with a bang in the Ravens 24-21 win over the Bengals when Jackson rushed for 119 yards  It was followed by games of 71 and 75 yards against the Raiders and Falcons and a 67-yard game in Week 14’s loss against the Chiefs. 

He knows the risks running quarterbacks face,  but winning is his No. 1 priority. 

"I’m going to put it all on the line," Jackson said in an interview with ESPN. "I want to win. I hate losing. I hate that feeling. You have to deal with it the next week. So, I want to win regardless. If it happens, it’s going to happen. I’ve been good so far.”

Coming into Week 15, the Ravens were fourth in the NFL in rushing yards. The team has rushed for at least 190 yards since Jackson took over.

At feat that hasn’t been achieved since the Steelers did it in 1976. With Jackson continuing to dazzle defenders, Baltimore will continue to maintain its dominance in the ground game. 


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It was ugly and boring, but the Redskins won a wild and important game in Jacksonville

It was ugly and boring, but the Redskins won a wild and important game in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE -- The Redskins played one of the ugliest games of the NFL season on Sunday, but they got an extremely important win, and in the end, that's all that matters. 

Across the league, offenses are getting more inventive and creating new ways to move the football through the air. That didn't happen in Jacksonville.

What did happen was a gutty performance from fourth-string quarterback Josh Johnson, a great pass rush, and an opportunistic defense combined to grind out a victory. 

The team overcame some mistakes and proved they will still play for head coach Jay Gruden. There's a lot to unpack, let's dive in. 

1. Not Too Bad:

Josh Johnson played well on Sunday, finishing with 151 passing yards and completing 16 of 25 passes. He connected with Jeremy Sprinkle for a late touchdown to tie the game, and never made the kind of killer mistakes that often bury a team playing backup QBs. 

2. Beast Mode: 

The Redskins defensive front played a monster game, sacking Jags QB Cody Kessler six times. Ryan Kerrigan and Jonathan Allen each logged two sacks on Kessler, and Kerrigan moved into second place all-time on the Redskins sack list. Now with 82.5 sacks, Kerrigan trails only Dexter Manley on the Washington franchise list. The defense also limited the Jags to under 200 yards of total offense. 

3. Secret Formula:

The formula for the Redskins when they got out to a 6-3 start was fairly simple; control time of possession and win the turnover battle. That worked on Sunday. The Redskins won the clock battle and forced two turnovers from Kessler. The late interception from Fabian Moreau was a huge play for the Redskins, as it kept the Jags from a field goal attempt when the game was tied at 13 with less than five minutes remaining. Then a good drive from Johnson led to the game-winning 36-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins. 

4. The Curse Continues:

Penalties have been killing the Redskins for weeks, and Sunday's game was no different. The team finished with six penalties for 48 yards, and on a number of first down plays, flags brought the gains back. Morgan Moses added to his league-leading penalty total, a title that nobody wants. The Redskins offensive line is a mess due to injuries, playing their 10th guard of the season, but still, the pace of penalties demands attention and correction. 

5. Not so Special:

 The Redskins defense didn't give up any touchdowns, but the Redskins special teams did. Late in the first half, Maurice Harris got the mistake train rolling when he tried to field a punt with the sun directly in his eyes. Rather than just letting the ball go, Harris attempted a backward over-the-shoulder catch. It didn't work. He muffed the punt and had to retreat about 10 yards to fall on the football. From there, the offense went 3-and-out and had to punt. Then that punt got returned for a touchdown, with a remarkable missed tackle from Byron Marshall. Seriously watch this.