University of Regina Suspends Coach Amid Misconduct Allegations, Athletics Canada Ban Imposed

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The University of Regina has suspended Coach Wade Huber, who was also banned from participating in a national athletics organization, amidst allegations of improper conduct involving student athletes. The charges filed against Huber were investigated and addressed by the Athletics Canada’s Commissioner’s office, which recently published an executive summary concerning their decision.

As per the commissioner’s resolution, Huber was deemed to have contravened the obligations set out in the 2015 Athletics Canada Code of Conduct and Ethics. His behaviour was characterized as grooming, psychological maltreatment, and sexual maltreatment in line with the 2021 Athletics Canada Code of Conduct developed to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport.

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A representative from the University divulged that Huber had been relieved of his duties in September of the previous year, around the time when Athletics Canada initiated its inquiry. The allegations were primarily related to his position as the head coach of the university’s cross-country and track and field teams.

An anonymous individual, referred to as a whistleblower, lodged a formal complaint on October 17, 2022, highlighting Huber’s conduct with athletes he had tutored from March to July of that year. The complaint detailed observed instances including Huber providing massages to female students during sessions while qualified trainers were available. The whistleblower also witnessed him under the influence of alcohol at both practice sessions and the team’s hotel during competitions.

Subsequent to the whistleblower’s accusations, a professional investigator was commissioned to scrutinize the matter, who interviewed 14 additional witnesses from November 2022 to April 2023.

Six specific allegations were levelled at Huber, of which three were ruled out by the commissioner’s office. One such allegation pertained to a consensual kiss between Huber and a former teammate wherein he held no authoritative position.

Other allegations included Huber demonstrating overt preference for certain female athletes. Textual exchanges, long late-night calls, situations of athletes babysitting his children, and his increasingly close relationships with athlete families were cited as evidence, breaching the acceptable boundary between coach and athlete as emphasized in the 2015 Athletics Canada Code of Conduct and Ethics.

The commissioner underscored that such behaviours are highly frowned upon as they could potentially verge on explicit sexual conduct. Although no substantial proof of sexual impropriety was presented, a defined grooming pattern was discernible from Huber’s actions.

One serious allegation indicated Huber’s propensity to comment on female students’ bodies and attire. The commissioner concurred with the investigator’s findings which categorised these actions as boundary breaches amounting to grooming.

Furthermore, numerous athletes testified that Huber’s remarks about others were improper and discomforting, representing psychological maltreatment as per Athletics Canada’s code of conduct.

Another serious charge indicated that Huber had inexplicably captured a photograph of one of his female students. The discovery of this photo was reported to have caused upset.

The commissioner ruled against two remaining accusations concerning Huber’s alleged intoxication at the athletic facilities as unsubstantiated.

Huber has since been put under an indefinite suspension from participation in any Athletics Canada sanctioned program, event or competition. However, he may make an appeal for membership reinstatement with Athletics Canada post September 13, 2030.