University of Victoria threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach probe

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

Former University of Victoria coxswain Lily Copeland is photographed at UVic campus in Victoria, B.C., on Saturday, November 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Three rowers who accused coach Barney Williams of harassment and abuse say the University of Victoria has threatened them with disciplinary action if they speak about the results of the investigation.

An appeal process examining the allegations recently ended and athletes were provided with a report yesterday, but they say in a statement they don’t feel comfortable saying anything about it.

Lily Copeland is one of the complainants and has alleged Williams criticized her weight and appearance and yelled at her in a small, locked room, but Williams says he regards coaching as a privilege, and he encourages athletes to become their best version of themselves.

The university faced criticism in 2016 for threatening a sexual assault complainant with disciplinary action if she spoke about the investigative report in her case with anyone other than her family, lawyer, counsellor or police.

At the time, the school said students are free to tell their stories but it cautioned against disclosing third-party information, and the case was cited in the B.C. legislature when the former government brought in legislation to require universities to have sexual assault policies.

READ MORE: Rowing Canada, uVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment and abuse

The University of Victoria did not immediately respond to a request for comment today but has previously said privacy legislation and its own confidentiality policies apply to all investigations.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

Canada’s best ready to take a run at Bear Mountain

2020 Pan American Cross Country Cup will be held Feb. 29 at Langford resort

Oak Bay High piano fundraising committee raises a glass to donors

Oak Bay High brings Fiddler on the Roof Feb. 28 to March 7

Black History Month: Documentary sheds light on black pioneers’ role in Victoria

Secret Victoria: Rush to Freedom looks at how a mass migration shaped the capital

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read