Penn State Fencing Coach Reinstated Following Interim Suspension

Penn State fencing coach Wes Glon is back with his team after an independent party lifted a three-year suspension following his alleged failure to report sexual misconduct allegations levied against a former assistant coach.

According to a statement from Penn State Athletics, which was not involved in a hearing process, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a nonprofit focused on protecting minors and student-athletes from abuse, lifted Glon’s suspension following a hearing before an arbitrator. The university said the case was “appropriately adjudicated” and confirmed Glon will return to his position immediately.

When the suspension was issued in August, Glon was also added to USA Fencing’s list of suspended individuals. Today, his name no longer appears among that bunch.

Jennifer Oldham, a North Carolina-based fencing club owner, filed an affidavit on June 15 and claimed Glon and former Penn State assistant coach George Abashidze conspired to defame her after she made allegations of sexual misconduct toward Abashidze. He was placed on administrative leave from Penn State in 2018 and later let go by the team following unrelated allegations of sexual abuse.

In her affidavit, Oldham said she sat next to Abashidze on a flight in 2017, during which he, while allegedly intoxicated, “persisted with sexual overtures” for hours, escalating in physical assault. She claims his comments included sexual and inappropriate remarks about former students and his wife.

Oldham also said Abashidze asked to have sex with her. When she declined, he allegedly assaulted her.

Although the alleged abuse was witnessed by a fencing equipment vendor seated near Oldham on the flight, she wrote she was unsure how to proceed due to Abashidze’s “prominence” within the sport. She sought advice from her fencing mentor, Ed Korfanty, who passed Oldham’s allegations on to Glon.

Glon and Abashidze later met with Oldham in January 2018 to discuss the alleged misconduct. She said they attempted to intimidate and silence her, implying others wouldn’t believe her claims.

In the affidavit, Oldham also wrote that Glon didn’t intend on reporting the alleged misconduct. She said Glon urged Abashidze to apologize and said an apology would be enough to “drop the matter” entirely.

Oldham claimed the two coaches launched a “defamation campaign” against her that persists today. She said she’s experienced harassment both in person and online from colleagues in the fencing community.

Oldham alleged she’s felt “unwelcome” at social gatherings and competitive events. She wrote that social pressure can prevent those in the fencing community from attending events that help forge bonds and relationships. Oldham also wrote that her fencing club in North Carolina has lost students due to defamation against her.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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