Former USC AD Mike Bohn Was Under Multiple Investigations When He Stepped Down

Mike Bohn stepped down abruptly as the AD at USC, but there is way more to the story.

We recently wrote about the abrupt resignation of USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn along with rumblings of some misconduct. Well now that it’s public, a lot more has come to light. Bohn has been ousted from his position, and it appears that the controversies surrounding him extend beyond USC’s campus. Prior to his tenure at USC, Bohn served as the athletic director at the University of Cincinnati, where he faced two investigations by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access Office of Gender, Equity & Inclusion, according to The Athletic.

There Are Multiple Investigations Being Conducted

The investigations were initiated on October 29, 2019, just three days before Bohn’s potential hire at USC was first reported. These investigations took place five years after Bohn joined Cincinnati following his time at Colorado.

One of the investigations stemmed from a formal complaint lodged by executive senior associate athletic director Karen Hatcher, who accused Bohn of “discriminatory and other professional misconduct.” Hatcher alleged that Bohn cautioned her to be cautious with diverse candidate pools during the hiring process for a development position. She also claimed that Bohn said she “pulled the race card” after she raised concerns about the lack of promotion for minority employees.

Hatcher further alleged that Bohn told former Cincinnati CFO Omar Banks that her success in athletics was solely due to her being an African American woman. Banks supported Hatcher’s claims, stating that he felt devalued by Bohn before leaving the university in early 2017.

The investigation concluded six months later with a memo stating that policy violations had been found, but there was little reason to pursue the matter further. The second investigation focused on the overall climate and culture of the athletics department, uncovering complaints from staff about a toxic atmosphere, preferential treatment for certain individuals, a lack of diversity in leadership positions, and insufficient recruitment of minorities for those roles.

Investigations Started Following His USC Hiring

Both investigations took place after Bohn’s hiring at USC, but The Athletic reports that there was a notice letter available via the Freedom of Information Act before his departure. Additionally, former Cincinnati associate athletic director Kim McGraw alleged a pay disparity between herself and two male colleagues, which she reported to a Title IX coordinator.

McGraw, who spoke to the Los Angeles Times following Bohn’s removal, also claimed to have witnessed Bohn engage in unwanted physical contact with women, including squeezing their shoulders and putting his arm around them.

The Athletic also revealed that there were concerns about Bohn’s management style during his time at USC. It was reported that he spent a significant amount of time in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, during his tenure at Cincinnati and continued to work remotely from there for a substantial portion of his first two years at USC, intermittently doing so for the following 18 months.

The controversies surrounding Bohn’s previous role as athletic director at the University of Cincinnati, as well as the concerns about his management at USC, have cast a shadow over his tenure and led to his departure from USC.

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