Penn State assistant fencing coach George Abashidze has been placed on administrative leave, The Daily Collegian reported Wednesday.
Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics spokesman Jeff Nelson confirmed to the CDT Thursday that the coach is on leave, saying in an emailed statement: “We take matters of this nature very seriously. We are aware of this situation and continue to gather information. George Abashidze is on administrative leave; we do not have any additional comments at this time.”
The U.S. Center for SafeSport — which identifies itself as “an independent nonprofit committed to ending all forms of abuse in sport” — lists two violations under Abashidze’s name in its database of disciplinary records. One is for sexual misconduct - sexual harassment, and the other is for sexual misconduct. Both are listed as “subject to appeal/not yet final.”
According to the Collegian, Abashidze was “suspended by USA Fencing for three years on Aug. 1, a spokesperson from USA Fencing confirmed. That suspension is also subject to appeal.”
Abashidze is still listed as an assistant coach on Penn State fencing’s website. According to the university, he’s in his fourth year at Penn State and “brings a long list of collegiate and international coaching experience with him as he looks to help guide the Nittany Lions to another NCAA crown.”