Investigators find University of Minnesota knew of abuse allegations involving former hockey coach, did nothing

©Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Robert (Chico) Adrahtas in 1984, when he was an assistant men's hockey coach at the University of Minnesota. - Minneapolis Star Tribune/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

MINNEAPOLIS — Former members of the University of Minnesota athletics department were aware of sexual abuse allegations involving a former assistant men’s hockey coach in 1984-1985 but failed to act, a law firm hired to investigate the matter has concluded.

The U hired law firm Perkins Coie in February to investigate allegations that former coach Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas sexually abused multiple members of the hockey team between June 1984 and June 1985. The allegations were first reported by The Athletic in February.

The Star Tribune could not reach Adrahtas for comment Friday. In an interview with The Athletic in February, he denied ever sexually abusing anyone.

Perkins Coie concluded its investigation into the matter recently, according to the U. It found that employees in the athletics department knew about the allegations at the time but took no action to investigate or report them to authorities.

“That is not what the University would do today,” the U said in a statement Friday. “We are committed to learning from this inquiry into the University’s past, an inquiry that will strengthen even more our University’s commitment to having a culture and practice that responds promptly and seriously to allegations of sexual misconduct.”

The firm did not identify any current university employees who knew of the allegations, according to the U’s statement. Almost all identified witnesses were former employees, staff or students.

Adrahtas bounced around coaching jobs after leaving the U. In 2018, he abruptly resigned his men’s hockey coaching position at Chicago’s Robert Morris University because of allegations by a teenage player from the 1980s. The player had told the university and the American College Hockey Association that Adrahtas abused him for 20 months, The Athletic reported.

“In a 14-paragraph letter, the player wrote that Adrahtas used flattery, gifts and the promise of furthering the player’s career to gain his trust, exploited a fractured family relationship to gain legal guardianship of the player, and then subjected the player to repeated acts of sexual abuse while the player was tied up, blindfolded and bound by the ankles,” the story said.

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