Portland State has publicly disciplined head coach Bruce Barnum after an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer has come to light.
There were no allegations of sexual harassment or abuse hurled at Barnum — there is no evidence of physical contact between Barnum and the woman — but Portland State has leveed “significant economic sanctions” against Barnum.
Barnum developed an inappropriate relationship with Portland State Athletics external events and administration coordinator Tara Carrillo over a period of more than a year from her Oct. 2015 hiring through January of this year. The pair exchanged text messages that were sexual in nature, and Carrillo said Barnum “often” made sexually explicit comments to her in the athletics department’s offices.
Barnum is married with two children; Carrillo is married with three children.
The relationship was discovered by Carrillo’s husband, a former Portland State tight end, who then took it public in a since-deleted Facebook post on the Vikings’ football alumni Facebook page.
The university investigated the relationship and produced a 24-page report in July. That investigation would have remained in-house, but Portland State was forced to comment after an investigation by the Portland Tribune, which broke the story.
“A complaint was made several months ago about the conduct of football coach Bruce Barnum,” PSU said in a statement. “The university investigated. The investigation did not find sexual harassment, but other policies regarding acceptable workplace conduct were violated. As a result, Coach Barnum has received significant economic sanctions by the university. Coach Barnum has received individual training on appropriate workplace conduct, and university officials also are conducting refresher training for PSU athletics staff.”
Both parties declined to comment to the Tribune.
Contained within that report was the revelation that Barnum broke university policy by failing to report a consensual relationship. The investigation found “there is insufficient evidence that (Barnum) violated PSU’s prohibited discrimination and harassment policy, but sufficient evidence that he violated PSU’s consensual relationship policy …. appropriate disciplinary action shall be imposed for failure to report the relationship.”
Barnum has been on staff for eight years, five as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and enters his third as head coach. He led the Vikings to a 9-3 mark in his 2015 debut, but the club slid to 3-8 last fall. He signed a 5-year contract during the ’15 season, which athletics director Mark Rountree announced to the team at practice. It also happens to be right around the time Carrillo was hired at Portland State.
Barnum was named the STATS FCS national coach of the year in 2015 and gave his $15,000 bonus to his assistants. He also distributed $24,000 of the $25,000 raise he received in his promotion from offensive coordinator to interim head coach to his assistant coaches’ salary pool. “I needed some dudes,” Barnum told SI at the time.
Portland State opens the 2017 season at BYU on Saturday, Aug. 26.