Iowa athletic department employee accused of trading football tickets for sexual favors from athletes

Dr. Saturday

A senior academics adviser for the Iowa athletic department is at the center of a scandal after being accused of trading football tickets and money for sexual favors from Iowa student-athletes.

Peter Gray, who resigned last Monday, had allegations of sexual misconduct made against him dating back to 1993. He left the Iowa athletic department in 1995 but was allowed to come back in 2002, and several more complaints were filed until his resignation. An Iowa internal investigation revealed that Gray's actions stemmed from inappropriate touching to keeping inappropriate material to asking Iowa student-athletes to perform sexual acts.

Gray also was found to have inappropriate photographs stored on his work computer, including two that involved individuals engaged in sex acts with toys or stuffed animals, numerous pictures of college-aged individuals posing in swimsuits and a few of individuals dressed in underwear, the document states.

Despite multiple complaints about Gray's conduct, his supervisor did nothing but tell him to stop and ask him to remove photos from his computer, including ones of Iowa athletes in swimsuits and underwear. Gray resigned for "personal reasons" but other than an internal investigation by the university, no other charges, including criminal, have been filed.

In the report, an unnamed UI student told investigators that Gray had exchanged money and football tickets in return for sexual favors from another person who was not affiliated with the university. Gray admitted to providing the tickets and money during the 2011 football season to the individual, whom he said he had met once before in person, but denied it was for sexual favors, the report states.

Investigators from University Human Resources and UI's Office of Equal Opportunity and Employment reviewed text messages, emails and photographs as part of their inquiry, the report states. They found that Gray had, in fact, received three nude photographs during the 2011 season from the individual to whom he had given the tickets and money, the report states.

There are several instances throughout the report that cite inappropriate behavior by Gary that was reported, but went unpunished, including as recently as this fall.

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz became irate when asked Tuesday to confirm a radio report that Iowa football players had been told to stay away from Gray.

"I would not know that," Ferentz said when asked if his players were kept away from Gray. "Maybe they have, maybe they haven't. It would be up to them."

Iowa City radio station KCJJ cited anonymous sources on its website Monday that Ferentz and men's swimming coach Marc Long had told their players to stay away from Gray. Gray reportedly had a picture of the men's swimming team in their Speedos as his screensaver.

Ferentz, who didn't confirm or deny the report, added that Gray "didn't work with our players. He did in the past, but it's been a while."

It's is amazing that all of this went unpunished considering what was discovered at Penn State — a school in Iowa's conference — just a year ago. Even though all of Gray's victims were college-aged, abuse and harassment still need to be thoroughly investigated and all claims need to be taken seriously. In this case, it appears like all of the cries for help — and there were numerous, according to the report — were all for naught. Heck, even after multiple complaints, Gray was brought back to work there again.

Iowa student-athletes were put in an unsafe environment and preyed on by someone they trusted. As this thing continues to unfold, athletic director Gary Barta and university president Sally Mason will ultimately have to answer for why student-athletes were put in this situation and no one bothered to help.

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