Chadima Texts Could Lead To UW Policy Changes

Text messages sent by former University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletic Department official John Chadima during his trip to the Rose Bowl were mostly about team matters or friends hoping for Rose Bowl tickets.

But some text messages made references to alcohol or duties assigned to students. None of the messages that Chadima sent or received in the month before he resigned his post contain graphic or sexual content, though some of what they reveal may prompt changes in university policy.

Chadima, UW-Madison’s former senior associate athletic director, resigned last month after being accused of sexually assaulting a student at a Los Angeles party. The party was thrown for Athletic Department workers shortly before the Badgers football team appeared in the Rose Bowl.

According to the report by the university-appointed panel, Chadima was accused of reaching into the pants of a student worker, identified only as John Doe, at the Dec. 30 party, and then threatening to have the student fired after his advances were rebuffed.

That student is one of three men who have come forward with allegations of misconduct against Chadima. So far, no charges have been filed.

WISC-TV obtained more than 200 pages of transcripts of text messages sent by Chadima from an open records request.

In a text message to a Los Angeles hotel employee, Chadima asks if he could get some ice for his room, saying “they didn’t bring the usual stuff as they have been … limes, etc.”

Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations at UW-Madison, said no state funds are used to purchase alcohol for Athletic Department employees.

“Any purchase of alcohol, there are no state funds used, nor any tuition revenue used,” Sweeney said.

In another message a student or employee says, “Hey, when can we meet up for this exit interview? Preferably not at the echo.”

The student is apparently referring to the Echo Tap, a bar near campus.

Chadima responds: “Preferably at the echo!!”

WISC-TV asked Sweeney if alcohol plays too great of a role in campus culture.

“I would say the things you mention are part of what we need to address as an institution, from the top, and clarify and perhaps, if we need to, update our policies,” Sweeney said.

The text messages reveal that Chadima asked student football managers to clean his room and deliver his laundry. In another text message, a student tells Chadima he’ll be on the way up to clean up his Los Angeles hotel suite.

When asked if those were appropriate requests to make of student employees, Sweeney replied, “If it’s as you describe, I think one could judge that it’s probably not the appropriate use of personnel.”

Sweeney said he’s not comfortable entirely assuming everything in the texts is as it appears.

Chadima did not consent to an interview as part of the university’s investigation. But Sweeney said that once the current investigation is wrapped up, some policies may change and others will be reinforced.