Letter to the editor from Philip Niklaus



To the editor:

I read your account of the resignation of athletic trainer John Sweet with interest, though hardly surprise. My daughter was also subject to sexual ahrrassment by Sweet during the 2008-2009 school year while she was a student at Occidental.

I filed a formal complaint (see enclosed March 15, 2009 letter) after I was informed by my daughter of Sweet’s behavior. I am sending you that letter of complaint because it is relevant and lends perspective to the current controversy over Sweet’s “resignation.” Although I sent copies of the letter to virtually everone in authority in the Oxy administration – 4 years ago this month – I never received any formal reply. Oxy Athletic Director Jaime Hoffman or other administration representatives did virtually nothing – in essence answering the allegation by saying that Sweet would be made to undergo counseling. Whether he did or not I do not know, but regardless Sweet apparently did not change.

The fact is that Sweet is a predator and has been for years and Jaime Hoffman’s failure to address the problem is inexcusable. Her “no comment” on Sweet’s resignation is totally inappropriate. Had she acted responsibly four years ago, she could have spared the current victims of Sweet’s actions. She should be made to answer now.

I believe the current controversy involving Sweet and the Oxy athletic department raises two questions:

1. Should Sweet be listed in a sexual predator registry?

2. Should Jaime Hoffman continue as athletic director?

You may use this letter and the enclosed March 15, 2009 letter any way you choose. You may use my name. And feel free to call if you have questions.


Philip Niklaus

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