Maryland officials are set to pay $4.1 million to two groups of people identified in a Title IX investigation into the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, which was just the subject of a blockbuster probe by the U.S. Department of Justice of the university’s swim team.

The pending settlement is a result of a consent decree the university is entering that requires a number of changes, including offering financial compensation to victims.

Rignal Baldwin V, who represents six former swimmers in a federal lawsuit, said that it’s unclear what potential next steps would be for his clients as agreeing to compensation from the settlement may prevent them from pursuing further legal action.

”It’d be very easy to just say this is a complete vindication — which it is, a moral vindication — but we’re not done advocating for students,” Baldwin said.

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Maryland’s Board of Public Works, composed of the governor, treasurer and comptroller, will vote on the proposal April 3. An agenda posted on Friday includes few details of the proposed settlement but notes the payments will “settle all claims against the University arising out of or related to sex discrimination at the University.”

Making the payments, the agenda states, is “in the best interest of the State.”

This is not the first time UMBC has made broad changes to its sexual misconduct and discrimination polices. After a 2018 lawsuit exposed how the university mishandled a sexual assault case involving student athletes, UMBC revamped its Title IX office and launched the Retriever Courage initiative, which seeks to prevent and address sexual assault and violence on campus.

Despite these efforts, sexual misconduct seemingly continued to flourish on campus with a Justice Department investigation revealing that UMBC’s former swim coach Chad Cradock sexually harassed and discriminated against swimmers from 2015 to 2020.

The Justice Department found that UMBC did not devote enough resources to comply with Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. As a result, Cradock engaged “in sex-based harassment, including unwanted sexual touching of male student-athletes, as well as sex discrimination against female student-athletes, on an ongoing basis for years.”

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The Justice Department conducted 70 interviews as part of the probe; some of those interviewed said Cradock worked for the team’s best interest and was loving and playful. Others told investigators he “weaponized information against student-athletes to sexually abuse male student-athletes and control and manipulate team dynamics in a manner that harmed female student-athletes.”

The hostile environment for the women looked a little different, according to the report. They were sexually harassed by their male teammates. Both the male swimmers and staff would openly call them “too fat to be D-1″ athletes. The male swimmers would expose their genitals during practice, and Cradock encouraged relationships between the men and women swimmers.

After the investigation, the university system announced it would revamp policies at all of its campuses.

The 12 University System of Maryland institutions have different staffing and structures for handling Title IX. The university system said in its statement on Monday that there are already mechanisms in place for effective and transparent Title IX enforcement, but it has created two working groups to “audit and optimize” those functions.

Baltimore Banner staff writer Kristen Griffith contributed to this report.

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