September 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Fired GWU coach accused of
 trying to out athletic director
Mike Lonergan, gay news, Washington Blade

Mike Lonergan was fired by GWU. (Photo by Rikster2; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

George Washington University announced on Sept. 17 that it has fired controversial men’s basketball coach Mike Lonergan following an investigation triggered by a Washington Post expose in which players said Lonergan told them the G.W. athletic director, Patrick Nero, masturbated in his office while watching videos of the players practicing.

“Players said Lonergan shared his distaste for Nero in a manner both inappropriate and outlandish,” the Post reported in a July 21 story. “Five current and former players said Lonergan told players Nero requested the practice tapes so he could masturbate while viewing them in his office,” the Post story said.

“The players said Lonergan also told them Nero had engaged in a sexual relationship with a member of the team,” the story reported. “Players said they found those comments to be shocking and offensive, with no grounding in reality,” the Post reported.

Nero and university officials declined to comment on the Post’s revelations at the time the Post published its story. But Nero’s attorney, Debra Katz, who did not respond to a request by the Blade for comment, told the Post that Nero has always been a strong advocate for the welfare of student athletes.

“He will not be deterred from advocating for students by false and reprehensible remarks,” the Post quoted her as saying.

In addition to reporting on Lonergan’s reported remarks about Nero, the Post story reported that at least 13 men’s basketball players left the team and the university during the past five years because of what those who knew them said was bizarre and abusive behavior by Lonergan toward his players.

“The university recently conducted a thorough investigation into allegations concerning Coach Lonergan,” G.W. Provost Forrest Maltzman said in a statement released on Sept. 17. “The university concluded that Coach Lonergan had engaged in conduct inconsistent with the university’s values,” Maltzman said in his statement.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • Lucky for the university, President Knapp is also leaving, who has driven the university into the ground with his look the other way attitude toward leadership of the athletic programs and deans of the academic schools.

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