Penn State fencing head coach Wes Glon did not report sexual misconduct allegations against assistant coach George Abashidze when he was made aware of them by Jennifer Oldham, Abashidze’s accuser, according to a Philly.com report.
Abashidze was placed on administrative leave last fall and ultimately fired this spring, as previously reported by The Daily Collegian.
The discipline stemmed from an incident that took place on an airplane in Dec. 2017. According to Oldham, an inebriated Abashidze made sexual and inappropriate remarks about his wife and former students.
Abashidze first asked Oldham to have sex with him, she told Philly.com, before insisting on it. When she refused, he grabbed her crotch.
The advances continued for 30-40 minutes before the plane landed, Oldham said. Abashidze attempted to follow Oldham before a bystander intervened.
Through Ed Korfanty, a mutual acquaintance of Oldham and Glon, Oldham conveyed her concern to the Penn State head coach.
A Penn State investigative report said Glon found the claims Oldham made “difficult to believe.”
The incident was reported to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which led to a 3-year suspension for Abashidze from USA fencing. It has since been reduced to a 1-year suspension. That citation led to the Collegian’s initial report.
In February 2018, Oldham and Glon met at a tournament in North Carolina, where she said she again laid out the incident for him. Glon forced Abashidze, also in attendance, to apologize to Oldham.
Oldham said Glon told her he still did not intend to report the incident to Penn State.
When the two met again in April 2018, Oldham said Glon told her no one would believe her.
In June, Oldham’s husband placed a call to Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, leading Penn State to begin an internal investigation into the incident.
Lewis Vaden, also on the flight, confirmed Oldham’s claims to Philly.com.
The Collegian obtained the following comment from a Penn State spokesperson:
“We hold our coaches, like all of our employees, accountable for following the University’s reporting expectations and guidelines. We have investigated the complaint brought to our attention, which is our practice. The outcome of this investigation, including any action that may have been taken, is confidential.”