PULLMAN, Wash. -Update: Former WSU Quarterback and current Assistant Director of Athletics at the Cougar Athletic Fund, Jason Gesser, has issued the following statement refuting the sexual misconduct allegations.
"Throughout the last 20 years of my life, I have unwaveringly supported Washington State University as a WSU student-athlete, proud alumnus and now employee of the athletic department. So, I was very disheartened to read the story published in the Evergreen stemming from rumors and unfounded accusations regarding my professional conduct. While I am grateful that our institution fully investigates accusations of impropriety, I am disappointed that the unfounded complaints submitted to the Office for Equal Opportunity and the Office of Internal Audits have been made public, needlessly affecting individuals who don’t deserve public scrutiny and criticism.
The only thing I care about more deeply than WSU is my family and integrity. I want to clearly state that the allegations are not true. I am categorically opposed to harassment or sexism in the workplace or society, and I am deeply committed to my wife and children. The non-story published by the Evergreen addresses accusations that were fully investigated by the University and found to be without merit. Tellingly, those quoted heavily in the article are not the women unfairly brought into this. I will not allow my name to be unfairly smeared, and I will continue to passionately serve our University as a proud member of Cougar Nation."
Previous coverage: Citing "hundreds of pages of public records", The Daily Evergreen in Pullman reports there are a number of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against former WSU Quarterback and current Assistant Director of Athletics at the Cougar Athletic Fund, Jason Gesser.
The allegations, which according to the paper "portray a pattern of behavior" that includes allegations of "sexual relations and advances on student interns" date back as far as 2014.
"You can't just put that under a rug and not talk about it," said The Daily Evergreen Editor-and-Chief, Dylan Greene. "We got a tip, an anonymous tip. People wanted us to know about it, people wanted us to report on it. It's our job to report on that stuff and sure we're student-journalists but we take it as we're professionals when we work in this environment but these are pretty serious things and we took the charge in making sure they came to light."
Following the article's publication, Washington State University issued a statement attributed to President Kirk Schulz and Director of Athletics Pat Chun saying that, following an investigation, they found "no violation of University policy."
The full statement can be read below:
“We take any allegation of sexual misconduct extremely seriously. A thorough review was launched by the University’s Office for Equal Opportunity once University administrators became aware of allegations against Mr. Gesser in December 2017. On multiple occasions, investigators interviewed or attempted to interview all those allegedly involved. Following a comprehensive evaluation of the information available, the Office for Equal Opportunity found no violation of University policy.
As per standard practice, the Office for Equal Opportunity shared its report with Washington State University’s Office of Human Resource Services. Human resources staff worked with Director of Athletics Pat Chun to directly address with Mr. Gesser the issues raised in the report.
It is important to reiterate that the University followed its established procedures to review the matter and found no violation of Washington State University policy. The allegations were taken seriously and addressed at the appropriate level.
As part of a separate audit of Mr. Gesser’s travel receipts in his role as an Athletics Department fundraiser, a $39.78 overcharge was identified. Mr. Gesser has since reimbursed the University for the full amount.
If individuals have any information regarding allegations of misconduct by WSU employees, they should call the Office for Equal Opportunity at 509-335-8288 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The university says Gesser has not been placed on leave and will not face disciplinary action.
Following the statement from WSU, The Daily Evergreen released a response, stating that their findings contradict the WSU statement in regards to Gesser findings.
"In interviews with women named in the public records as being involved with Gesser, two of them said they had not previously been contacted by OEO officials in regard to allegations against Gesser," the response reads. "We are currently working to confirm a third denial."
KHQ is working on finding out more about this story. Check back for updates. In the meantime, read the article published by The Daily Evergreen HERE.