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Ohio State cheerleading coach job posted months after firings

March 5, 2014

Martini.35@osu.edu

The position of Ohio State head cheerleading coach has been posted on the OSU jobs website, more than three months after the former head coach was terminated and nearly 10 months after two former assistant coaches were fired for their roles in a sexual harassment complaint.

The position was posted March 1, OSU athletics spokesman Dan Wallenberg said in an email Tuesday. The post closes March 9.

Wallenberg would not comment further, however, because the search is still in progress.

“We do not discuss personnel hiring until a person is officially announced by the Ohio State (Human Resources) department,” Wallenberg said in an email Wednesday.

After the head coach’s dismissal, Steve Chorba, who was hired along with Ray Sharp as one of two new assistant coaches this summer, was named interim head coach Nov. 25, the day Buchman was fired.

Interim OSU head cheerleading coach Steve Chorba stands on the sideline during an OSU football game against Michigan Nov. 30 at Michigan Stadium. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

Interim OSU head cheerleading coach Steve Chorba stands on the sideline during an OSU football game against Michigan Nov. 30 at Michigan Stadium.
Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

Sharp remains with OSU as an assistant coach.

Wallenberg’s comment was on behalf of Chorba and Sharp as well.

The head cheerleading coach position requires a bachelor’s degree or a combination of education and experience that is equivalent, as well as experience at an intercollegiate institution and coaching cheerleading, according to the listing.

The target salary for the new head coach is between $40,000 and $45,000, and both current OSU employees and the general public can apply.

The position was posted nearly 10 months after two then-assistant coaches were fired.

Eddie Hollins and Dana Bumbrey, two former assistant coaches, were both fired “for cause” in May after a university investigation found “sufficient evidence” the two had violated the university’s Sexual Harassment Policy.

OSU’s Sexual Harassment Policy defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances” and “requests for sexual favors,” and includes “other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature” when, among other conditions, it creates an “intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for working, learning or living on campus.”

Lenee Buchman, who had served as head cheerleading coach since July 2009, was initially kept on staff and given a raise to a yearly salary $43,003 from $42,577 Aug. 23. She was later terminated Nov. 25 for “several serious lapses of judgment and leadership,” according to an email athletic director and OSU Vice President Gene Smith sent Buchman Nov. 22 that was obtained by The Lantern.

One of those lapses occurred in August, Smith said in the letter, when Buchman took the OSU cheerleading team to a cheer camp ran by Bumbrey.

“Though I know that the camp was not run by Ohio State, you took our students and brand there with you,” Smith wrote. “All the while, you knew the nature of the behavior Mr. Bumbrey had been engaged in, that Ohio State had dismissed him just a few months earlier and that the university had emphatically chosen to disassociate itself from him and his damaging behavior.”

Smith also said when Hollins unexpectedly appeared at a team practice Sept. 9, Buchman did not approach him or ask him to leave.

Then-OSU cheerleading coach Lenee Buchman stands on the sideline during an OSU football game against Illinois Nov. 16. Credit: Kaily Cunningham / Multimedia editor

Then-OSU cheerleading coach Lenee Buchman stands on the sideline during an OSU football game against Illinois Nov. 16.
Credit: Kaily Cunningham / Multimedia editor

“When an assistant that had been fired for sexual harassment shows up at a team practice, it is obvious what is expected of a head coach,” Smith wrote.

An October Human Resources report that outlined the incidents began after former cheerleader Cody Ellis said Buchman had retaliated against him for reporting sexual harassment by dismissing him from the team.

Buchman, however, was found innocent of retaliation, as Smith said he and Miechelle Willis, OSU’s executive associate athletics director for student services and sports administration, agreed Ellis’ dismissal was warranted.

“We are both persuaded that the student’s past behavior — including persistent derogatory and offensive conduct toward teammates and others, the student’s negative attitude and other misconduct — all amply support the student’s dismissal from the team,” Smith wrote.


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