University of Missouri

Former swim coach Greg Rhodenbaugh, Mizzou dispute how investigation concluded

The University of Missouri pool pictured during the SEC swimming and diving championships in 2016.
The University of Missouri pool pictured during the SEC swimming and diving championships in 2016.

The contract of former Missouri swimming and diving coach Greg Rhodenbaugh was terminated this month after a Title IX investigation into his conduct was completed, but the coach and university dispute how the process was concluded.

In an emailed press release sent to reporters Monday, Rhodenbaugh says the Title IX investigation, which was originally reported by The Star, cleared him of wrongdoing. Greg Anderson, Rhodenbaugh’s lawyer, said Missouri intentionally took its time with the investigation, which lasted nine months, in order to prevent Rhodenbaugh from talking to other Division I schools about potential coaching jobs.

Rhodenbaugh, in the press release, claimed Missouri didn’t comply with demands to disclose the factual basis for the allegations against him and wasn’t allowed to hold a hearing to present materials for his defense or have the investigation completed in a timely manner.

The university, however, said Rhodenbaugh’s press release was “inaccurate and mischaracterized” the Title IX investigation and its findings. Athletic department spokesperson Nick Joos said the Title IX office never issued a finding on the investigation and that Rhodenbaugh was able to meet with university officials multiple times with his legal council, which he disputes.

Joos’ statement said MU’s athletic department initially suspended Rhodenbaugh in the fall over concerns of his team management practices and terminated his contract at the end of the investigation. Because he was no longer a university employee, the Title IX office wouldn’t have to issue a final report.

In June, Missouri announced interim coach and longtime MU assistant Andrew Grevers as Rhodenbaugh’s replacement and said Rhodenbaugh would be reassigned within the athletic department. Rhodenbaugh was at Missouri for nine seasons and helped turn the program from a Big 12 bottom-dweller to a top-20 program nationally.

In an email to The Star on Tuesday, Anderson said through a spokesperson that while Rhodenbaugh has not filed a lawsuit against the university, “he will take the steps necessary to protect his reputation from completely false allegations.”

Related stories from Kansas City Star