COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The head coach of the Ohio State University Diving Club has been placed on administrative leave by the university.
John Appleman was also officially suspended by USA Diving, the sanctioning body for the sport.
Appleman’s suspension comes after two former divers filed suit accusing USA Diving of ignoring or obstructing inquiries into allegations that a coach sexually abused them when they were young athletes.
The lawsuit names Indianapolis-based USA Diving, Inc., the Ohio State University Diving Club and Will Bohonyi, a former assistant coach.
The suit alleges Bohonyi coerced and forced the divers into frequent sex, telling them, “You owe me this.”
The women’s attorney, Jon Little, told The Indianapolis Star other divers have come forward and “this is just the beginning for USA Diving.”
Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson says the school opened an administrative investigation in 2014 after learning about allegations from one individual. Bohonyi was fired in August 2014.
The university’s 2014 investigative report includes a summary of an interview with Appleman. The head coach told investigators he had “never witnessed flirtatious or inappropriate conduct between the complainant and Mr. Bohonyi.”
Appleman said he reported the alleged sexual misconduct as soon as he learned of it.
Calls to a telephone listing for Bohonyi’s most recent Columbus, Ohio, address went unanswered.