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Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio

Ex-Cal Student Accused Football Team Of Rampant Sexual Harassment

Holly Quan
March 21, 2019 - 2:28 pm

A former sports medicine intern at UC-Berkeley said in a public Facebook post that football players and coaches at the university subjected her to relentless sexual harassment.

Paige Cornelius said in her message that she took to Facebook because calls to Cal's athletic director and football coach went unanswered after she informed them about "ruthless, endless and persistent harassment" from coaches. 

Although the post is no longer available, Cornelius described being grabbed, leered over, even having her job threatened by a coach who said he would have her fired if she didn't have sex with him. She claims one followed her home and suggested they go to the pool because she would "look amazing in a bikini” and later tried to take her clothes off in a hotel room.

In her post, Cornelius says she’s a lifelong athlete who was “excited beyond belief” to work for the UC Berkeley team, but was shattered by the experience. She's withdrawn from the university to seek treatment for anxiety and PTSD, she said. 

“Cal Football, Your Time is Up. Take Responsibility,” Cornelius ended her Facebook post.

A statement from the UC Berkeley Athletic Department says it is aware of the disturbing public allegations and has referred the matter to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.

A letter also went out to Cal supporters from Athletic Director Jim Knowlton on Thursday saying the alleged actions go against the department's core values and that it supports any appropriate consequences that come from the inquiry.

Last year, an athletic department worker was fired after the university substantiated claims of sexual violence and harassment.

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