Lawsuit alleges bullying, abuse by UC San Diego rowing coach led to student’s suicide

Parents of a 19-year-old University of California, San Diego student who committed suicide in January filed an illegal death lawsuit against a college and its male boat coach accused of exposing college athletes to bullying and verbal abuse. Woke up.

A lawsuit filed in federal court in San Diego on Thursday accuses the head coach Jeff bond Choosing a freshman rower, Brian Lily Jr., for mental deterioration and ultimately suicide.

“This horrific tragedy isn’t sad, but it’s the result of an’old school coach’miscalculating the impact of his harsh coaching style on sensitive Gen Z teenagers,” the proceedings said.

Lily was described by his family and teammates as a strong endurance athlete with no history of mental illness. Known for his mental strength, he overcame his childhood physical limitations and eventually entered the Ironman Triathlon as a third-year high school student in Scarsdale, New York. The figure on the wall of the bedroom shows how to become an Olympic rower.

“I’m worried every day that my son is the victim of a bully predator coach,” his father, Brian Lily Sr., said in an interview.

Bond is sued under Title IX (Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexism in education), as well as allegations of illegal death, denial of equal protection, and deprivation of substantive proper procedures.

Bond declined to comment when contacted by phone Thursday afternoon.

The University of California, San Diego, its athletic director Earl Edwards and associate director Katie McGann, have been sued for the same reason, with allegations of negligent employment and supervision.

Matt Negel, a spokesperson for the University of California, San Diego, issued a brief statement Thursday.

Lilies, who now lives in Connecticut, has contacted coaches and athletic staff several times as her son expressed concern about the abusive and volatile behavior of the team and Bond, but the school did so. Deal with.

The proceedings seek unspecified damages.

UCSD students leave the Geisel Library.

(KC Alfred / San Diego Union Tribune)

Promising athlete

Both Brian Lily Jr. and Bond arrived at UCSD in the fall semester of 2019.

Lily was a walk-on freshman rower with a competitive ergometer score. This is a calculation on a rowing machine where rowers are often ranked. He grew up to be a serious athlete, diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of six, and was a victory for a junior high school student who was suffering from weight.

“He was a weak man. He got up from that disadvantage,” his father said. “Part of what he did at UCSD was to speak for the vulnerable.”

Lily’s score put him in one of the top three boats in Mission Bay where the team is practicing.

Bond was hired to lead the men’s team at UCSD after working as head coach at the University of Pennsylvania for three years on his resume, including a coach at the University of California, Berkeley and a coach on the Chinese national team.

According to the proceedings, Bond was forced to resign from Penn after threatening to resign from the coaching team.

NS statement Announcement of his departure from Penn gave no reason except that he resigned at the end of his contract.

A UCSD rower who spoke to Union Tribune said Bond initially captivated the team. They didn’t want to be named for fear of retaliation.

“He was a very friendly, extroverted and friendly person,” said one student. But that changed in a few months, they said.

According to the proceedings, Bond always beat the crew with sexually explicit castrated words, exposing them to “little insults and irregular behavior.” He encouraged athletes to exercise until they vomited, and then ridiculed them for being weak, the proceedings said.

The rower made many claims in the interview, explaining the toxic training atmosphere in which many athletes were walking on eggshells to avoid being the target of an explosion.

“You think,’Oh, I’m doing something wrong to create his attitude manifesting this way.’ You’re going to take responsibility for yourself.” Said a rower. “Sometimes I’m practicing and I feel hopeless, like,’What makes him stand out now?’” “

“You will be insensitive to it, you think this is normal, you should get used to it,” continued the rower. “Then, after Brian’s death, I definitely started thinking more retrospectively and, awesome, realized that this wasn’t really normal behavior.”

Petition for retaliation

Lily’s relationship with Bond deteriorated significantly at the beginning of the spring 2020 semester, his family and teammates said.

According to the proceedings, Lily learned that several female students had accused fellow freshmen of their teammates for sexual misconduct and assault.

Lily and others on the team resented the report and believed that the accused crew (acting on the team with seemingly no effect) was not well reflected in the boat program.

The proceedings also knew about sexual claims by Bond and his assistant coaches, but did not report them, even though both coaches said they had to Lily, as required by Title IX. Claims to have been.

At the end of January 2020, Lily approached Bond and his assistant coach and stated that he was emotionally and mentally distressed by the accused teammate’s “unchecked behavior and the coach’s failure to take action on the allegations.” rice field.

According to the proceedings, Bond told Lily, “And (his) buddy should behave as if nothing was wrong,” “the coach was handling the situation.”

According to the proceedings, Lily received retaliation as a result.

In late January after the conversation, Lily was transferred to a mysteriously uncompetitive fourth (or last) boat, the proceedings said. The team leader began treating him with “outward hostility and cold ostracism.”

Dressdowns from Bond have also increased, the proceedings said.

“Brian got the worst share of it,” said one rower. “Brian felt like he was in the gaslight from certain members and coaches of the team.”

The accused teammate was also on the fourth boat, and tensions were rising.

When Lily confronted Bond again, Bond claimed in late February that he had reported the allegations to the administration after hearing them, and the proceedings said the investigation did not find evidence of fraud. ing.

The rower told Union Tribune that he had been interviewed as part of the investigation, but believes it was initiated by a resident assistant who received reports of sexual misconduct against students and reported to the Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Bureau. ..

By mid-March, the team was dormant due to the new COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental crisis

Like many students, Lily returned to his parents’ home and finished the semester remotely. According to the lawsuit, his mental health continued to decline that summer, and he eventually checked in himself to the hospital to treat schizophrenia symptoms and psychotic episodes.

“Before joining UCSD, Decedent was a healthy and happy young man,” the proceedings said. “Less than a year with Bond has worsened Lily’s mental health.”

According to his parents, he was successful in treating inpatients and outpatients and focused on health as he did when he was a teenager. He continued to study at home in the fall semester of 2020.

He decided to return to face-to-face classes on the Lahoya campus in the spring semester of 2021. Bond sent him an email in December asking if he would rejoin the team. Lily replied that she would opt out of the semester due to continued concerns about COVID.

“He was waiting for a reassuring response from Bond, but (Lily) never received it,” the proceedings said.

Lily committed suicide on January 4, shortly after moving to her new apartment.

Lily’s father remembered well when he first dropped his son to UCSD and said during the presentation that his parents were convinced that their children were in good physical and mental health.

“My son shouted for help,” he said. “UCSD failed my son, and there is a general break at UCSD.”

His mother, Brenda Lily, not only seeks justice for her son, but their personal tragedy promotes a broader conversation about the mental health of college athletes and is abusive. He said he wanted to reign in coaching.

Nicholas Lewis, a New York-based lawyer in The Lilies, said coaches have a great influence on athletes’ emotional well-being and self-esteem, with the majority playing an important mentor role for young people. rice field.

“Jeff Bond’s actions reveal that he isn’t fit for a high position as head coach. He’s an abusive bully, a rower with a terrifying temper, tantrum, nasty insults, and countless numbers. I was exposed to a lot of mind games, “Lewis said. “Bond didn’t mind raising this kid. He used his power to defeat Brian.”

Lawsuit alleges bullying, abuse by UC San Diego rowing coach led to student’s suicide Source link Lawsuit alleges bullying, abuse by UC San Diego rowing coach led to student’s suicide

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