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Iowa Athletics Academic Adviser Peter Gray Violated UI Sexual Harassment Policy with Students, University Report Shows

Longtime adviser traded football tickets for sexual pictures, engaged in repeated inappropriate behavior with students, according to University investigation.

According to a six-page memorandum obtained and published by the Iowa City Press-Citizen, a longtime academic advisor within the UI Athletics Department engaged in frequent, repeated, and well-known inappropriate activity with student athletes in violation of the University's sexual harassment policy. The advisor, Dr. Peter Gray, resigned Monday for "personal reasons," according to a statement by athletics director Gary Barta.

According to the internal memorandum, titled "Finding on Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment and Violations of Other University and Department Policies," an internal investigation conducted by the University of Iowa found that Gray repeatedly engaged in inappropriate sexual touching and made sexual comments to students and student athletes. Gray also had sexual images on his work computer, and allegedly traded football tickets for sexually suggestive pictures of a non-student in 2011.

Gray was first employed by the Iowa athletic department in 1993, leaving in 1995. He returned in 2002 and remained at the university until Monday, when he apparently resigned. The Press-Citizen reports that instances of inappropriate conduct by Gray were observed going back to his first term of employment with the University.

In a particularly damning passage, the memorandum summarizes the findings against Gray:

These conclusions are based on reports of multiple incidents of concerning behaviors, specifically that Dr. Gray's interactions with student-athletes were characterized by inappropriate and non-professional touching; comments of a sexual nature to prospective student-athletes and their parents; suggestive and/or sexual images on a work computer; sexual overtures, sexually explicit comments, and sharing of sexual images with a student not affiliated with the Department of Athletics; an exchange of athletic event tickets as an incentive, gratitude or appreciation for money and/or photographic images of a sexual nature; and providing Department of Athletics complimentary tickets to individuals that are not immediate family members. The effect of such behavior is that staff members and students are uncomfortable in their interactions with Dr. Gray and in some cases, staff members have requested not to work with him.

Gray admitted he acted inappropriately in a number of circumstances, including the startling admission that he made sexually explicit comments to a student, including an offer of oral sex, but "he could not remember to whom he made the statements, when, or how often." Gray also admitted to having a photograph of the men's swimming team in their swimsuits on the background of his computer that a co-worker classified as suggestive and unsuitable for the office environment.

Several staff members have apparently reported inappropriate behavior by Gray during his time at Iowa, to the extent that two individuals requested not to work with Gray, one former employee left the University over his actions, and one individual requested not to work with him in the evening.

More updates on this story as it develops.