See the link below to the USA Today article.
Prominent track and field coach John Rembao accused of sexual harassment in lawsuit [Christine Brennan, USAToday March 11, 2020]
I contacted their lawyer to provide info that may help in the classaction lawsuit. Extremely happy for these former Univ Of Texas athletes and proud of them. I was an academic mentor for the women’s athletics department at the University Of Texas when John Rambao was at Texas. Londa and Jessica were freshmen.I worked with 3 of their track teammates who were also freshmen…..one of which was verbally and emtionally abused by Rembao. Several distance runners and high jumpers had spoken to me many times about verbal, emotional, and some physical abuse [female athlete was shoved against a locker during one of the coach’s rage episodes] they were experiencing.See the story at the bottom of this post that has been on my website for the last 14 years.
I have a copy of the letter I wrote to the Patricia Olendorf at the Univ of Texas Office Of Legal Affairs, where I reported John Rambao a day or 2 after reporting him to Randa Ryan, Univ of Texas Athletic Department who was in charge of the academic tutors and mentors. I thought it odd when Randa asked me if I had heard of relationships or sexual incidents going on. I hadn’t at the time. Apparently someone may have already reported something on those issues prior to my conversation.
A few weeks prior to transfering to Univ of Arkansas, Jessica filed a formal grievance with the Univ of Texas Office of Legal Affairs. She asked me to be a witness. I spent 3 hours in the Texas tower telling everything I knew to the lawyer assigned to investigate the grievance.I have a copy of the email sent to me from the investigator, setting up my appointment to meet with him….the 3 hours of me talking.
John Rambao’s contract term ran out and wasn’t renewed. After reading an Austin newspaper article about him moving on to SMU, I sent a letter to the SMU Athletic Director telling him what happened at Texas and encouraging him to take seriously any and all complaints they get from any and all distance runners and high jumpers. I have a copy of the letter.
On the cross-country team, only 2 athletes returned the following season, 8 to 10 did not. On the track team 8 of 20 athletes did not return. As I stated in the letter I hand delivered to the UT Office Of Legal Affairs……”Something needs to be done to keep the coach from terrorizing his athletes”.
At the bottom of the “Club History” page of my website the following detailed story about these incidents has been sitting there since 2006 [a.k.a. 14 years]………
Unfortunate experience #4, high school and college programs in America don’t do well with problem coaches. One example….In the mid-1990’s I worked as an academic tutor and academic mentor for the University of Texas women’s athletics department. I worked several years [7 as a tutor, 5 as a mentor] until Spring 2001 semester when I notified the women’s athletic department that several athletes on the women’s track team were experiencing emotionally violent and abusive behavior from their assistant coach. One of the athletes had also been shoved against a wall by the coach. I learned directly from several athletes that the abusive situation had escalated over a period of years, with some athletes having sought psychological counseling and/or psychiatric treatment as a result. The coach’s behavior appeared to be consistent with the tenants of “intentional infliction of emotional distress” which had been specifically laid out by the Texas Supreme Court [ie. Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, subsequent Bush appointee to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court Of Appeals].I had witnessed some of the department’s past history in dealing with problems with coaches in general. So in this situation I felt I had good reason to believe they would do as they’d done with other coaches in the past. That would be to leave the coach unsupervised with the athletes as they spent weeks investigating and months or years trying to get the coach to change behavior while also documenting various offenses. This tended to continue until the coach’s contract ran out, which they would then not renew.Since an athlete capable of overcoming state sovereign immunity issues could rightly bring suit, to me this was no longer a “coaching issue”, but had become a legal issue. Especially if the athletic department, after being notified by myself and the athletes, continued to leave the athletes alone with the coach. With this in mind, right after I notified the athletic department of the problem, I also I sent an “anonymous” letter to the University’s Director of the Office Of Legal Affairs rather than wait for the Athletic department to deal with the problem. In knowing that the department would leave the athletes unprotected while they gathered information about the incidents, I included in the letter, a threat to go to the media if something wasn’t done to protect the athletes. I also included information about potential NCAA rules violations in 3 women’s sports thinking this might speed things up. Instead of investigating, the University’s legal affairs director handed the letter over to the women’s Athletics director. It was easy to identify me as the person inside the department that sent the letter since I was the only person who could have known all the details in the letter, including the potential NCAA violations. Like I had predicted, as the department continued their investigation the athletes, left unprotected, continued to experience more incidents from the coach.On this team of about 20 athletes, eight  athletes quit the track team at the end of that season, six of whom had been trained by the assistant coach in question. Three of them transferred to other schools. One filed a formal grievance against the coach with [ironically] the UT Office of Legal Affairs. I was called as a witness during the investigation by the UT Office of Legal Affairs and interviewed for 3 hours by the person assigned to do an investigation and file a report. I was told by the athletes involved that two sought psychological counseling over the summer, and had been put on anti-depressant medication. That’s in addition to others in previous seasons.I have assumed that due to the media related threat contained in my letter and the fact that I went outside the department with dirty laundry, I was not rehired as an academic mentor after this [which seemed to violate at least “the principle” of state whistle blower laws]. I was told that I wasn’t rehired because they didn’t have athletes to assign to me. Though that wasn’t a problem in each of the 5 previous years prior to the letter. To compensate for the loss of that part time job I eventually went back to the Athletic dining hall job as a food server and dishwasher. I continued working as a tutor until I noticed that for the first time in 7 years they hired tutors in the academic area in which I worked. As the number of athletes being sent to me decreased dramatically I eventually decided it may be best to no longer work for the athletic department all together and stopped.