Assistant Fencing Coach On Administrative Leave Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Assistant fencing coach George Abashidze was placed on administrative leave by the university after sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, as first reported by The Daily Collegian and confirmed by Assistant Athletic Director Jeff Nelson.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport, the United States Olympic Committee-formed program to combat all forms of abuse in athletics, reports both sexual misconduct and sexual harassment violations under Abashidze’s disciplinary record.
No further details on the specifics of the allegations or their time frames are included on the SafeSport website. A representative said the center does not speak about “specific matters” according to its policy.
“We take matters of this nature very seriously,” Nelson said. “We are aware of this situation and continue to gather information.”
USA Fencing also suspended Abashidze’s membership for three years beginning on August 1, though the suspension is subject to appeal.
Abashidze remains listed as a staff member on the Penn State Athletics website as of publishing time. Before coaching the Nittany Lions, he coached fencing at Ohio State, helping athletes win five individual NCAA championships during his tenure with the Buckeyes.
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“Our international students need to rely…on a safe and flexible learning environment that will help make possible the attainment of their educational goals in a safe and healthy manner.”
With barely six weeks until the first ball is kicked for the 2020 campaign, let’s see how the Nittany Lions might line up.
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