SJSU Pres. Mary Papazian Resigns amid Fallout from Athletic Trainer's Alleged Abuse

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 8, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 19:  Placekicker Matt Mercurio #39 of the San Jose State Spartans warms up on the team's logo at midfield before the Mountain West Football Championship against the Boise State Broncos at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

San Jose State University president Mary Papazian resigned Thursday in the wake of an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against former SJSU Director of Sports Medicine Scott Shaw.

According to the Associated Press, student-athletes first came forward with allegations of abuse in 2009, but it was determined by federal prosecutors that the university mishandled the allegations.

Shaw resigned last year after allegations he inappropriately touched San Jose State swimmers during physical therapy from 2006 to 2009 resurfaced. Female swimmers told investigators Shaw subjected them to "repeated, unwelcome sexual touching of their breasts, groins, buttocks and pubic areas during treatment in the campus training facilities."

Per the AP, 23 student-athletes said they were sexually assaulted by Shaw, and 13 of them accepted a payment of $125,000 each as part of a settlement announced last month. All told, the settlement was worth $1.6 million.

Investigators also found that the university retaliated against two employees who had alerted the administration about the allegations.

Papazian penned an open letter to the San Jose State campus community Thursday, writing in part:

"The health and safety of the SJSU campus community remains a priority for me and our university. I will continue to participate in and support the ongoing external Title IX Procedural Investigation and investigations surrounding former SJSU Director of Sports Medicine Scott Shaw. This transition does not impact our intention and obligation to understand what occurred and how the university responded at the time. I made a promise to our community and to the affected student-athletes and their families, and I plan to honor it. My heart, apologies and prayers continue to be with those students who suffered a breach of trust during their time at the university."

Papazian also noted that her resignation will officially take effect on Dec. 21, 2021.

The 62-year-old Papazian became the 30th president of San Jose State University in 2016 after previously serving in that role at Southern Connecticut State University from 2011-16.


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