University of Victoria threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach probe

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

Former University of Victoria coxswain Lily Copeland is photographed at UVic campus in Victoria, B.C., on Saturday, November 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Former University of Victoria coxswain Lily Copeland is photographed at UVic campus in Victoria, B.C., on Saturday, November 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Three rowers who accused coach Barney Williams of harassment and abuse say the University of Victoria has threatened them with disciplinary action if they speak about the results of the investigation.

An appeal process examining the allegations recently ended and athletes were provided with a report yesterday, but they say in a statement they don’t feel comfortable saying anything about it.

Lily Copeland is one of the complainants and has alleged Williams criticized her weight and appearance and yelled at her in a small, locked room, but Williams says he regards coaching as a privilege, and he encourages athletes to become their best version of themselves.

The university faced criticism in 2016 for threatening a sexual assault complainant with disciplinary action if she spoke about the investigative report in her case with anyone other than her family, lawyer, counsellor or police.

At the time, the school said students are free to tell their stories but it cautioned against disclosing third-party information, and the case was cited in the B.C. legislature when the former government brought in legislation to require universities to have sexual assault policies.

READ MORE: Rowing Canada, uVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment and abuse

The University of Victoria did not immediately respond to a request for comment today but has previously said privacy legislation and its own confidentiality policies apply to all investigations.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Charlie Fox was leading as of 9 p.m. with five of six main polls and one advance poll reporting. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
UPDATED: Fox expected to become new Langley school trustee

With all but the mail-in ballots counted, Fox was being acknowledged as the winner

If all goes according to plan, Langley Thunder will open the WLA 2021 season on June 23, playing Coquitlam at the Langley Events Centre (Garrett James/Langley Events Centre)
Cross your fingers: Langley Thunder are hoping to open a new WLA season in June

It depends on whether they get approval from the provincial health officer

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

The debate about in-person church services continues as people express their opinions in letters to the editor. (File photo)
LETTER: Bible clear about church services

Churches in Langley and nearby communities have held services in defiance of Public Health Orders

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

Most Read