UGA Womens Coach Quits After Complaints
McCorkle's resignation was announced May 7 and came three days after a memo in which he was told he would have to go through extensive anti-harassment training and would be suspended without pay for July. McCorkle instead quit, but athletic director Damon Evans said he would remain employed in another undisclosed job with the athletic department.
In the memo, University of Georgia executive director for legal affairs Steve Shewmaker told McCorkle several players had complained about the behavior of the SEC co-coach of year.
'We also recommend a close supervision of your interactions with your team, as any further conduct on your part that is a violation of this policy should result in immediate additional disciplinary action, up to and including termination of your employment with the university,' the memo reads.
The 44-year-old McCorkle said Monday he was not asked to resign, but acknowledged the 'situation has placed a cloud over the program and I felt like it was in everyone's best interest for me to step down.'
'In my tenure at Georgia I have unintentionally made comments that have made some of my players uncomfortable,' McCorkle said in a statement. 'I want to be clear in saying that this was not my intention or desire.
'I have learned through this experience that I must be 100 percent professional at all times. I would like to thank the University of Georgia for all the opportunities they have afforded me. Life is full of learning experiences and unfortunately this experience has cost me something that is dear to both me and my family.'
The memo was one of several documents obtained in response to an open records request by the AP. The documents included 48 pages of handwritten notes by school investigators from interviews with current and former players.
McCorkle was said to have shared a sexually explicit Paris Hilton video from the Internet with the team. Players reported McCorkle shared remarks about bras and underwear color. Other comments were more explicit, referring to male anatomy. There was a mention by one player of inappropriate physical contact.
'He is randomly rubbing your back or flipping hair, or pat on butt -- and otherwise not think anything about it -- but with all the other stuff feels wrong,' the unidentified player wrote.
The university's investigation began in April. Art Leon, the father of Georgia's top player, Taylor Leon, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution his complaints to Evans led to the investigation.
'I'm the person that initiated it,' Leon told the paper. 'He doesn't need to be a coach of women's golf anywhere. He got what he deserved.'
Leon, the SEC player of the year, helped the No. 3 Bulldogs advance to next week's NCAA Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. Assistant Veronique Drouin has served as interim coach since McCorkle's resignation.
McCorkle guided Georgia 2001 NCAA title, a year after he was hired from Arizona.
The memo from Shewmaker informed McCorkle he violated the university's Non-Discrimination Anti-Harassment Policy.
'This finding is based, in part, on your statements made during our investigation,' Shewmaker wrote. 'For example, you admitted you told one of the team members she looked 'sexy' on the way to the SEC tournament banquet.'
Shewmaker added: 'Your comments had the effect of creating a hostile or offensive environment which interfered with the team members' ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.'
McCorkle said last week he was leaving the team to assist his wife, LPGA golfer Jenna Daniels, with her career. McCorkle coached Arizona to the 2000 NCAA title.
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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake
Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.
While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.
“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.
Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.<
DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi
Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.
“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”
Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).
“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.”
Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.
Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace).
“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”
Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi
What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.
Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.
McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.
He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.
McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65).
Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds.
“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder
Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.
Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.
Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:
Filling in tomorrow for Corey Pavin that WD today @cbgolfchallenge I do things like this a lot to help events and asking for sponsors exemptions here but didn't get any help.— Ken Duke (@DukePGA) January 18, 2018
Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.
Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.