Harvard’s head diving coach Chris Heaton resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct, which surfaced last week, the university announced in an email to coaches and staff in the athletic department on Tuesday.
Heaton joined Harvard’s swimming and diving team only two months ago, in August. The 31-year-old coach was placed “on leave” last Thursday after being accused of soliciting nude pictures from and sending pictures of his penis to young female athletes. A pending class-action lawsuit — filed Sept. 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana — alleges that Heaton, who is named in the suit but not as the defendant, sexually harassed young girls while coaching at Ripfest Diving, a camp for competitive divers in Indiana.
“Sexual misconduct is something that we take very seriously both as a department and institution,” Yale’s Director of Athletics Victoria Chun told the News.
When Heaton was hired in August, Harvard’s Director of Athletics Robert Scalise praised him as “an outstanding coach and educator.” The university has denied that it possessed any knowledge of the accusations brought forward in the pending suit.
Representatives from Harvard did not respond to requests for comment.
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