University of Guelph Statement on Media Reports Re: Former Track Coach

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U of G logoThe Globe and Mail published a deeply troubling article today about the treatment of our student athletes by one of our former coaches, David Scott-Thomas. The behavior of Scott-Thomas is both shocking and disturbing. The University extends its apologies to all athletes, students and co-workers who experienced this behavior.

In recent months, the University has started the process of making personal and public apologies and offered support to those who endured suffering and hardship, and we will continue to reach out to and help former and current athletes.

The current administration is deeply troubled by the contents and details of the article, many of which were unknown until now. Once the University learned new information about the behaviour of Scott-Thomas in December, we took immediate action, terminating our relationship with him Dec. 16. Had the University been aware of this information previously, it would have terminated its relationship with Scott-Thomas earlier.

The University strives to provide a teaching, learning and training environment that is respectful, caring and inclusive. We do not tolerate conduct or behaviour among its coaches that is inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the University and our University’s Coaches Code of Conduct.

The University has made the well-being of student-athletes a University priority. During the past several years we have progressively and proactively instituted new policies and supports, from coaching codes of conduct to improved supports in areas such as wellness and student counselling. The University has also made personnel changes including creating new roles that reflect an improved and changing culture.

In addition, we have engaged McLaren Global Sport Solutions, an internationally recognized sport consulting firm with extensive experience in sport governance, education, policy reviews and investigations, to conduct a thorough review of the University’s policies, practices and procedures and partnerships, and to explore ways to further enhance U of G’s athletics culture.

The University remains vigilant in our commitment to providing all students with the assistance and support they need to thrive in their respective sports and in an environment free of bullying, discrimination and harassment.

The Director of Athletics is always available to speak with former and current student-athletes and coaches, (athleticdirector@uoguelph.ca). As well, U of G students and staff are reminded that University supports and resources are available, including the following:

  • Student Counselling Services, Ext. 53244
  • Multi-Faith Resource Team, Ext. 58909
  • Employee assistance program for faculty and staff, 1-800-265-8310
  • Crisis Text Line, text “UofG” to 686868
  • Sexual Violence Support Centre, Ext. 53020