Victims of UMBC Swimming Sexual Abuse & Harassment Could Receive Up to $180,000 Each

The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved a $4.1 million settlement to former UMBC swimmers who were sexually abused and harassed by former swim coach Chad Cradock. The US Department of Justice will determine the settlement amount for each individual plaintiff in the case, with each receiving either $60,000 or $180,000.

The money will come from the state and no UMBC programs will be impacted.

“Students at UMBC today will not pay for the misconduct of the past,” UMBC president Valerie Sheares Ashby said at Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting.

Rignal Baldwin V, an attorney representing six former UMBC swimmers, indicated to The Baltimore Sun that his clients are ready to accept the settlement.

The DOJ conducted an extensive investigation into allegations that Cradock sexually harassed male swimmers and discriminated against female swimmers, and concluded that UMBC’s “failures allowed the former head coach to exploit his power over student-athletes, prey on student-athletes’ vulnerabilities and engage in egregious and ongoing abuse spanning many years.”

The DOJ initially opened an investigation into UMBC in November 2020 regarding its response to complaints of student sexual assault. It was during this investigation that the Department received allegations relating to Cradock, and it thus expanded the investigation.

Cradock was not named in the official press release, but was in the DOJ’s letter sent to UMBC notifying it of the violation.

Cradock died by suicide in March 2021 after resigning as UMBC’s head coach in December 2020. He served as the Retrievers’ head coach for 19 seasons dating back to 2001.

Sheares Ashby released a video apologizing to the victims of abuse.

“It revealed not only dispicable actions by one individual, but profound failures in the university’s response during that period,” Ashby said of the investigation. “These students deserved better.”

“Let me be very clear: We take full responsibility for what happened and I am committed to addressing these failures through our words and actions,” Ashby said in the video.

Ashby became president in 2022, after Cradock’s resignation and death.

She encouraged community members to read the report, acknowledging that it was “difficult” but “important” to “start the process of healing and change the culture so that this never happens again.”

As part of the settlement, UMBC has agreed to improve its processes for responding to Title IX complaints and to provide additional resources and staffing for its Title IX compliance program, among other changes to policies and procedures.

A summary of the settlement agreement can be seen here.

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Not a good man
1 month ago

I would love to see the other people involved in covering for this guy be held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, Cradock will not be held to account for them. He abused his position of authority and supposed trust by abusing those young men and women.

And I hope everyone who stood up for him in previous chapters of this tragedy understand that it doesn’t matter that he did some good things when this horrible thing will scar these people for the rest of their lives.

Coach Johnson
1 month ago

He was a sick man

ACC fan
1 month ago

In reading the report I was surprised (as I am sure many were or will be) that the sexual abuse happened to the male swimmers at this University. A good lesson that these horrors can happen to both genders and it often takes too long to expose the perpetrator. Wishing all the victims a full recovery.

1 month ago

I’m still waiting for the part where senior administrators are held to account for protecting the coach.

Reply to  PBJSwimming
1 month ago

They announced this week the Athletic Director is out effective immediately.

Reply to  Swim3057
1 month ago

True, but he had only been AD since 2020. Also, a swimmer said that the outgoing AD was one of the people who made things better. So, I’m not sure if his departure was related to the DOJ case. It says this in the Baltimore Sun article.
“Brian had done quite a few things to make me feel like I wasn’t going to get persecuted,” he said. In part, Barrio had told him that his role as athletic director was to ensure student-athletes were safe and able to perform academically and athletically, not to protect coaches. “That was a big thing for me,” K said.

The prior AD was there for… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by PBJSwimming
Sunday Morning Grind
1 month ago

Read the report. Everyone involved at the university needs to be fired and banned from academic positions of power. Some should be up for criminal negligence charges. Far too often universities keep situations like this “in house” and criminals are never tried in the justice system. It’s there for a reason.

Swim dad
Reply to  Sunday Morning Grind
1 month ago

Swim Canada should jump on this an investigate Camp Chikopi where he also coached. One of his protégés was charged for interference while also coaching at this camp

Jim Beam
1 month ago

That report is so insane. As a coach, I find it absolutely disgusting — if I were on staff with him, I would NOT last very long because I would not tolerate that kind of malicious, abusive behavior.

Ranger Coach
Reply to  Jim Beam
1 month ago

That report is sickening.

Reply to  Jim Beam
1 month ago

Are any of his past assistants still coaching?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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