Central Michigan University has agreed to pay $450,200 after two women’s soccer players accused their coach of inappropriate sexual activity.
The deal signed Monday by Central Michigan is split between the women and includes $150,000 for their lawyer.
The women, a senior and a freshman, each had a sexual relationship with Tony DiTucci because of his “skilled manipulation and seduction,” lawyer Jennifer Salvatore said.
“They were young individuals who held the coach in high esteem,” she said in an interview. “He made them believe they were special and he was in love with them. Looking back on it, they wish they had handled it differently.”
The 35-year-old DiTucci was placed on leave in September, a day after the younger woman complained to the senior associate athletic director, according to the six-page settlement. He resigned on Oct. 15.
In a statement released by his lawyer, DiTucci declared his innocence and said the women “had made suggestive romantic advances … on more than one occasion.” He said he reported it to a supervisor.
DiTucci said he agreed to quit “because my innocence would forever be in doubt, no matter what the outcome of an investigation.”
The Rochester, N.Y., native said being a soccer coach “had been my life’s dream.”
His lawyer, J. David Kerr, said DiTucci did not want to speak to The Associated Press.
Central Michigan did not admit liability in the settlement. It said it was in the “best interest” of the players and the university to make a deal before a lawsuit was filed.
The freshman has left the school because of the experience.