Madonna University terminates Title IX inquiry into volleyball coaches

It appears a Title IX investigation into conduct by volleyball and softball coaching staff at Madonna University will go without a conclusion.

The university “terminated” the inquiry being done by a third party because the two men at the center of it — Jerry Abraham and Brian McClain — are no longer employed by Madonna.

Abraham, the former head coach of the school’s volleyball and softball programs, and McClain, a former assistant volleyball coach, were placed on administrative leave in October 2021 after a student athlete alleged “inappropriate conduct” by the two.

Abraham is known at the college as a wildly successful coach and recruiter.

Title IX protects students from sex-based discrimination. Most Title IX inquiries take a few months, a university attorney said, but can take longer based on the nature of allegations. Madonna’s investigation went on for roughly 10 months and, according to the university, was never completed.

                                                                            The campus of Madonna University in Livonia in May, 2020.

“Our primary priority is the well-being and experience of our student-athletes, and, therefore, we take any and all complaints seriously,” a university spokesperson said. “We remain diligent in keeping our athletes safe and treating them with dignity, respect and fairness, by engaging in careful hiring practices and providing ongoing training of our coaches and staff.”

Madonna hired Scott Barbe to lead its volleyball program in June and brought on Ron Pezzoni to lead its softball program in March. The university also has a new athletic director, men’s basketball head coach Noel Emenhiser, after Scott Kennell left the school in July.

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