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Penn State fencing assistant coach placed on administrative leave after sexual misconduct violations surface

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Penn State fencing assistant coach George Abashidze was placed on administrative leave by the university, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics spokesperson Jeff Nelson told The Daily Collegian.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport, a nonprofit organization seeking to end abuse within American athletics, lists sexual misconduct and sexual harassment violations under Abashidze’s name within its database of disciplinary records.

A SafeSport representative declined to provide a comment on specifics in the matter, as well as whether those violations apply to a single incident or multiple. According to the same database, the violations are not final and are subject to appeal.

Fencing Assistant Coach on suspension

“We take matters of this nature very seriously. We are aware of this situation and continue to gather information,” Nelson said.

Abashidze would have been entering his 10th year as an assistant coach with the Nittany Lions. He was previously an assistant at Ohio State.

Abashidze, who brought a bevy of international competing and coaching experience, was also suspended by USA Fencing for three years on Aug. 1, a spokesperson from USA Fencing confirmed. That suspension is also subject to appeal.

At the time of publication, Abashidze still appeared in Penn State’s directory and remained on Penn State Athletics’ online fencing roster page.

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David Eckert is a junior studying print and digital journalism and Spanish at Penn State. He has served previously as a sports editor for the Daily Collegian, but currently he works as the Collegian's sports columnist and is a podcast host.

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