A former University of California, Berkeley assistant basketball coach, accused of sexually harassing a sports reporter, has resigned just days after promising to vindicate himself.
On Monday, Yann Hufnagel released a sample of over 900 texts that the pair exchanged. He said the messages prove the duo shared a consensual flirtation, but on Thursday the maligned coach stepped down from his position and withdrew his appeal over the allegations.
According to a statement from the Hufnagel camp, "The toxic environment at UC Berkeley has made it impossible for Mr. Hufnagel to rejoin the basketball team he loves" even if the acusations are found to be without merit "as the facts would show."
Hufnagel decided to "move on" because "he needs to look out for the student-athletes he coached, as well as his own future."
UC Berkeley Coach Fired for Sexual Harassment Tries to Clear Name
So far, Berkeley officials have not responded to the sudden move.
Berkeley officials released Hufnagel last month when faced with the reporter’s claims that he sent her sexually harassing text messages. The victim also said that he tried to get to her to come up to his apartment for sex.
However, Hufnagel's attorney deemed officials' move a "gross miscarriage of justice" and said, "He wants his reputation back, he wants his job back, and he should have that."
McNamara stressed that her client didn't deserve to be fired from a job he loves.
Not only did Hufnagel do "nothing wrong," but also there was "no physical contact of any nature" between the two, according to McNamara.
"There was a mutual flirtation that occurred," she added. "It was not only welcome by the complainant, but often was initiated by her, it was continued by her, and it went on for some period of time."
Berkeley officials decided to take another look at the case in light of the newly shared messages, effectively placing Hufnagel in a holding pattern of sorts.
The dean will, upon the completion of their investigation, decide whether Hufnagel's "proposed discipline" is "warranted," university spokesman Dan Mogulof said in a statement Monday.
He added, "It remains unclear why [Hufnagel] apparently withheld hundreds of text messages he now believes to be relevant."
As of Thursday, Berkeley officials have not yet provided information about the findings of their investigation.
Check back for updates.