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Kevin Hadsell Sex Scandal: Former Toledo Track Coach Reportedly Sexually Harassed Female Athletes And Bought Alcohol For Them

By Melissa Siegel - Posted: 02/12/13 05:35PM UTC
Kevin Hadsell

Kevin Hadsell resigned as Toledo track coach last month. (Photo: Twitter / Kevin_Hasdell)

Kevin Hadsell, the former head of University of Toledo men's and women's cross country and women's track and field programs, resigned last month after reportedly being accused of sexual harassment.

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According to the Toledo Blade, Hadsell resigned on Jan. 25, stating only that he had violated school policy.

"I want to apologize to the University, the Toledo community and the student-athletes, past and present, for letting them down," he said at the time. "I have always told my student-athletes that there are rules, and that they must follow the rules or face the consequences. I hold myself to the same standards; it would be hypocritical not to," Hadsell said. "Therefore, I have submitted my resignation today as the director of women's track & field and men's and women's cross country."

As the SB Nation website Hustle Belt noted, the timing of the resignation seemed rather abrupt. Hadsell was coming off a 28th place finish at NCAAs and had won the Mid-American Conference title in each of his last three seasons. He also won MAC Coach of the Year honors five times in his career, second-most in conference history.

But on Tuesday, Deadspin reported the real reason for the coach's resignation. The website talked to a runner who claims she was sexually harassed by the former coach. The runner, dubbed "Andrea" by Deadspin to protect the woman's identity, also claims that Hadsell had a physical relationship with her teammate, dubbed "Caitlin."

According to a report from the Blade, "Andrea" may be All-American Emma Kertesz. Kertesz is apparently the one who turned over the incriminating evidence to the school, leading to Hadsell's resignation.

"I just felt I had to say something to prevent this from happening to somebody, specifically the women on the team that I care about deeply," Kertesz said.

In fact, the school's athletic director told the paper that Toledo was going to fire Hadsell if he did not resign. Mike O'Brien said that Toledo had determined that the coach had an affair with an athlete two or three years ago. However, Hadsell claims he had the affair about a decade ago and that any allegations of more recent relationships are untrue.

Meanwhile, other runners coached by Hadsell told Deadspin that he often talked about inappropriate sexual topics with them and even sent them explicit text messages. Some also revealed that he bought alcohol for runners under 21 and drunk the team's van while drunk.

Several former runners reportedly confronted Hadsell about his behavior. Two males went up to the coach after learning about his affair with a female athlete. Hadsell then "freaked out" and claimed the woman in question was just seeking attention.

Hadsell's mistreatment of women extended onto the track as well. The athlete dubbed "Andrea" told Deadspin that he would consistently favor a small group of females when deciding who to run in particular meets.

"Coach Hadsell, you need to be his buddy," she said. "You had to be friends with him or he'll just ignore you. There's no coincidence the in-crowd girls-the girls he races constantly in the big meets-are the women who talk to him the most and have the most open line of communication."

During practices, he would consistently criticize girls' weights, which inevitably led some of his athletes to develop eating disorders. Hadsell also reportedly told his athletes not to take birth control because it would make them heavier.

And if an athlete tried to leave Hadsell's program, he would apparently make her life miserable. One teammate said that the coach told the other girls to shun an athlete who left the program voluntarily. Both the runner in question and her teammate believe that Hadsell blacklisted the athlete to limit her opportunities outside of Toledo.

"We are afraid because he has so much power in the running community," the teammate said. "He has a lot of friends and basically you don't want to mess with him because your life will be ruined. I guarantee that's why everybody wants to stay so anonymous because we don't know what he's going to do, what story he's going to make up about us."

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