Mizzou Coach Rhodenbaugh Under Title IX Investigation, KC Star Says

The Kansas City Star is reporting that University of Missouri men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach Greg Rhodenbaugh‘s paid administrative leave is connected to a Title IX investigation into alleged discrimination against female swimmers.

The school announced this week that Rhodenbaugh, head coach of the program for the past nine seasons, had been placed on paid administrative leave. The school wouldn’t give any further details, but said it was investigating “team management allegations.”

The Kansas City Star on Thursday reported that Missouri’s Title IX Office was investigating Rhodenbaugh after “multiple current or former members of the women’s swim team came forward with issues about Rhodenbaugh’s management of female athletes.” The Star says multiple sources corroborated the Title IX investigation, and quotes at least one former swimmer who ties the allegations to Rhodenbaugh’s handling of mental health issues.

“He didn’t tell me to take my meds or take care of myself,” the former team member says in the Star piece. “He just told me to pray, which was very awkward for me, especially since I’m not really a religious person.”

The Star also says another anonymous source confirmed that the handling of mental health issues were part of the investigation.

We’ve asked the university for further comment, but so far have only received the school’s official press release that says Rhodenbaugh is on paid administrative leave.

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Socrateshatesoliveoil

“He didn’t tell me to take my meds”? Would hope by the time a college student reaches college age they MIGHT have enough sense to take their prescribed medications without having Coach remind them. As far as the “I’m not really a religious person” statement, Coach Rhodenbaugh may end up being be a target for religious persecution; which HE WILL WILL WELCOME! I hope Coach Rhody will write a book, make a movie and leave the whiney entitled college snowflakes to their own pitiful devices.

sven

I’m familiar with the KC Star and can confirm that it’s not really a good newspaper and their writers aren’t the best. They gave us two sentences of that athlete’s statement, so it’s hard to draw too many conclusions, but it does seem clear to me that the athlete was not saying she needed to be reminded to take her meds. She’s saying that that would be practical, constructive advice that she would expect from a coach rather than just being told to pray about it. I’m sure there’s more to it, but we don’t know because, again, bad reporting. One thing that they do mention, though, is that this isn’t about one incident. It specifically says that many women… Read more »

Anonymous

Sven, thank you for your articulate responses. The athletes on Mizzou swim and dive do not need to be reading the horrible things some people are posting, and I’m sure they appreciate someone coming to their defense

Smoegel

Or maybe, just maybe, we’re conditioned to listen to women athletes on the level of “I feel bad because of X, therefore X must have harmed me.” It’s a logical error to assume this. Just because your foot hurts, doesn’t mean that I’m standing on it. What’s missing from all of these reports about coaches being vilified and fired are the concrete facts of what is being claimed and a general consensus of how this ranks next to objective standards in the coaching field. Compare that to the reported cases of sexual abuse that have been (seemingly rightly) prosecuted both legally and in the press. There we have actual descriptions of a coach’s behavior to go by, not just “coach… Read more »

Smoegel – worth pointing out that it’s not missing from ALL reports. At Stony Brook, for example, the athletes made, publicly, with their names attached, specific accusations:

https://swimswam.com/stony-brook-university-coaches-dismissed-athletes-allege-abuse/

Smoegel

Braden, my point was less about if individual people identified themselves and more about if whatever complaints were both substantiated and violated an objective standard of coaching. As in, if we recorded all the coaches out there, men and women, would these accusations fall outside the fence of what is acceptable. In the cases of sexual abuse we have that fence clearly defined; we don’t in these other cases and complaints, and that is problematic. In the absence of it, it leaves wide open the door for weaponizing garden variety misunderstandings or grievances against the coach, as well as common misunderstandings or situations in which the coach shouldn’t be expected to function in the way they’re held to. Plus, lets… Read more »

oldschool

Hi Smoegel – Thought provoking posts. I think that we, as outside observers, need to refrain from judging either side. I include parents of current or former swimmers of the coach in that “we” and the reason why is simple – many, maybe most, college kids do not share a lot of details about their daily lives and interactions with their parents. So parents tend to be fairly uninformed on a lot of issues affecting their kids. I swam in college and have kids who swim in college and have had conversations with friends of theirs who have not shared significant details of their lives and experiences and feelings with their parents. Then you have the team code where no… Read more »

dmswim

These allegations are being investigated and I’m sure the investigators know the names of the accusers and will either confirm or refute their claims with further investigation. Just because you, as a casual observer, don’t have the concrete facts doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

Smoegel

Very true on all counts. But still accusers feel comfortable making accusations based on vague and impressionistic statements. That is a problem.

pete kennedy

You are so uniformed on how collegiate administrators “function.”

sscommenter

absolutely nobody would see that movie chief

Jmanswimfan

LMAO just pray ha ha ha. Fire him based on that alone. Don’t necessarily think it was his responsibility to tell her to take the stuff would like to know more info on it.

Anonymous

College student who didn’t know to take the medicine prescribed to them and somehow that’s Greg’s fault? Haha what??!?

Frequent flyer

If the swimmer needed some sort of reminder, encouragement etc, he should have the wherewithal to refer/recommend her to the right resources who have the tools to help her, like the psych services on campus that I’m sure they offer. NOT by telling her to pray. After coaching for that many seasons, it is frightening to hear that he still does not understand the safest and most effective way to handle his swimmers.

Anonymous

The problem was he didn’t believe that mental issues were really diseases but rather calls for attention, and thus he didn’t believe she needed medication in the first place

Smoegel

Thats quite an assertion. Do you have any proof?

jmanswimfan

I agree, I just think it’s funny he said just pray LOL

Anonymous

He would not say just pray. He might give some options and then suggest that because it helps him. He is not someone to push his beliefs on others.

Jimbo

Some people are religious some aren’t. To some people saying to pray it’s saying pray for guidance on what to do to some that is taking care of yourself. Saying he should be fired over that is awful. If somebody came up to you and said take some aspirin and you are allergic to aspirin would you want them fired? I have mental health issues and I don’t take meds and praying helps me maybe he thought that it would help her? Don’t just assume what you want to assume let all the evidence come out

College Coach

I feel like aspirin and mental health issues are slightly different degrees of importance.

Anonymous

This is probably not the only reason he is under investigation

Veritas

That is a horrible thing to write….Coach Rhodenbaugh is an outstanding person and coach who cares for his athletes. As a parent of a current MIZZOU swimming athlete I can honestly say that I have never had any doubt that my child’s wellbeing was a priority to the entire coaching staff. The culture Greg has created is one of positivity, enthusiasm, and teamwork. I am PRAYING that Coach Rhodenbaugh is back leading MIZZOU to another outstanding season as soon as possible.

swim mom

You do recognize the Coach can be one thing to some athletes and something totally different to other athletes? Your opinions are totally valid and I’m glad your experience is so positive, but we can’t take away other peoples experience with the same coach.

Anonymous

Not everyone is going to get along perfectly with everyone. As adults, people need to learn how to work with different people. The accussors didn’t get along with him and didn’t know how to handle it so they are accusing him of ridiculous things

SwimMom

It’s important to understand just because your swimmer has had a good experience, it doesn’t mean they all have. Confirmation bias is dangerous.

LOL

You really think a coach is the same in front of the parents as he is in front of the athletes? Parents see coaches at their VERY best. LOL!

College Coach

These comments. She probably didn’t think “oh now I don’t have to take my meds or take care of myself”. It sounds like she’s pointing out that his advice was not practical and he had no thoughts on what was actually in her best interest. Imagine you personally are having mental health issues, you go to your coach for advice, and all he says is pray. I don’t have anything against the guy, don’t know 96% of the story, and have no horse in the race, but maybe, just maybe, he should have handled some things differently.

12Volt

Although that quote comes right from the KC Star story, it just seems so terribly out of context to a story about an investigation into what is allegedly sex discrimination – while it may be viewed as impractical advice, it certainly doesn’t sound like an obviously sexist or otherwise discriminatory comment, either. Like you, I have no knowledge of anything and certainly no horse in the race, but I’m thinking the investigation has a whole lotta of nothing to do with that particular quote.

Without more context around that quote, I don’t think the KC Star reporter should have included it – it’s either a total red herring or, left as it was in the story, really out of context.

Recent Tiger

I have had personal mental health problems, and I have gone to him for advice, and he has referred me to help. As an adult, it’s on me to take care of myself along with the support network in the athletic department if I so choose. I have personally witnessed him pull people out of work out countless times to comfort them because they were struggling mentally. All of the coaches make it very clear that their door is always open if you need to talk. If it goes that far and you still don’t feel like you have gotten help, then you don’t want help. Not everyone is a therapist and always says the perfect line to calm you,… Read more »

Ladyswimmer

This. I can even count how many times I was pulled aside during or after practice when I was down or feeling off so that Rody or another coach could make sure I was okay. And I know this was regular and often expected behavior from the coaching staff.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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