“There is nothing more important to Texas Tech and me personally than the experience of our student-athletes,” Hocutt said in the statement. Emmi Merriweather, who transferred to Kansas, recalls how Stollings scolded her when she started showing signs of anxiety and depression. “I was just so embarrassed,” Merriweather told USA Today.

Not so long ago, Braves' reliever Tyler Matzek was pitching independent baseball in Grand Prairie. Petrella, who denies any misconduct, resigned voluntarily in March after the conclusion of the season. “We will continue our conversation tomorrow to work through concerns about our program as we seek a path forward to make sure we are providing an environment to educate, serve and grow our student-athletes.”. Stollings came to Texas Tech when the program was in need of a turnaround, and they got it. She gave Mikey away to a stranger because she said the dog would be a “distraction” for Merriweather.
When players took their complaints to school officials, including executive senior associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator Judi Henry, they say that Stollings retaliated by holding practices that were much tougher than normal, and berated them for being “mentally weak.”. Our student athletes are developing a disciplined approach both on and off the court. "I want our students, fans and alumni to know we are committed to winning championships at Texas Tech and doing it the right way through hard work, accountability and fierce determination.". "We know change is difficult and that has been no different at Texas Tech.

If she is being fired for cause, the school's "sole obligation" is to pay her basic annual compensation through the termination date. Players say they were ridiculed and isolated, and symptoms of depression were ignored and admonished. Literally. Stollings’ statement, in which she admits to zero wrongdoing, would indicate that the school could be doing a lot better by its student-athletes. Could history repeat itself? Merriweather had been diagnosed with depression and intended on registering the dog as an emotional-support pet. Could Texas A&M make the College Football Playoff? The player exit interviews drew the attention of Texas Tech, which convened a four-person committee to review the allegations and Title IX complaints. Some wonderful young women have decided to leave our program and pursue their dreams elsewhere. “Additionally, based on information received we conducted an in-depth program review of our women’s basketball program. “I have thoroughly discussed this review with Coach Stollings and am confident that we are taking appropriate steps to improve the relationship and communication between coaches and student-athletes so that we can continue to grow the success of our program both on and off the court.".

The improvement came at a cost, at least for the players. He would reach underneath sports bras and press on pubic bones, and players say that he was verbally abusive and would make inappropriate comments about their appearance and dating life.

Despite these allegations, Stollings has kept her job. Here’s how to make Halloween less scary, What makes Whataburger’s Fancy Ketchup so unique? Stollings was not being fired despite overseeing the program that saw over half of its players leave in two years, and retaining a strength and conditioning coach accused of harassment and abuse.

We will be putting out a statement about it tonight. Copyright © 2020 The Dallas Morning News.

Our student athletes are developing a disciplined approach both on and off the court. By signing up you agree to our privacy policy, Stand with us in our mission to discover and uncover the story of North Texas. Texas Tech women’s basketball coach keeps job despite 'toxic atmosphere,' abuse claims, mass exodus. The committee concluded its review on June 29 and presented findings to Hocutt on July 3, a school spokesperson said. The Texas Tech Red Raiders basketball program competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I, representing Texas Tech University in the Big 12 Conference.

Merriweather remembers Petrella body shaming her one morning when she stopped by his office for a snack, since she hadn’t eaten breakfast.

Texas Tech has fired assistant women’s basketball coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins, a school spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Friday morning. After having numerous panic attacks, Merriweather brought her dog, Mikey, to campus so she could register him as an emotional support pet, but Stollings took him from her. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. “Good evening, I have really appreciated your trust in our conversation these past two days,” Hocutt texted players. When the individual was confronted with the allegations, the individual resigned from their position before any university review could take place. Former Texas Tech center Emma Merriweather claimed in the report that Stollings took her dog away from her and offered it to a booster because the dog distracted her from basketball. “I wanted to let y'all know we have decided to terminate Marlene as our head coach. Coaches called post players “fat pig,” “grossly out of shape” and “grossly disproportional,” four say.

An investigation by USA Today and the Intercollegiate.

Kirby". ■ Three players said Stollings retaliated by holding tougher practices after they brought abuse claims to school officials, including Judi Henry, executive senior associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator. Is Texas Tech taking this as seriously as it should? Texas Tech announces terminations of women’s basketball HC Marlene Stollings, assistant Nikita Lowry Dawkins, Dallas County reports 554 more confirmed coronavirus cases, 3 deaths; Tarrant logs 501 new cases, Colin Allred accuses Genevieve Collins of darkening his skin in her campaign mailers, Dem Senate hopeful MJ Hegar stumps in North Texas, seeks to put spat with Royce West in rearview mirror, Cornyn defended Trump for siphoning Pentagon budget to pay for border wall, but now claims he was against it, Plans to rebuild tornado-ravaged schools delayed but DISD focused on ‘can-do’ spirit one year later, Texas shatters another election record with 16.95 million registered voters. In interviews with USA Today, players discussed the abuse they endured from Stollings and her staff. Big wins, less daunting remaining schedule enhance Aggies’ odds, Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch slated to make his return vs. Cardinals, This North Texas suburb is the best in the state for first-time homebuyers, study says, Feds say they’ve busted meth ring run by owner of Fort Worth clothing store, Suspect in custody after woman fatally shot in Mesquite, police say, Check out this Design District warehouse that was converted into a home priced at nearly $2 million. ■ The three international players on rosters the past two seasons allegedly faced treatment such as being ridiculed, isolated and threatened by coaches.

Texas Tech has dismissed women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings, citing reports of abuse within the program, the university confirmed Thursday night. When asked to provide a copy of the committee's review, Texas Tech said a report was given to Hocutt verbally.

Hocutt said Wednesday night that he had met with the women’s basketball players for an hour and met with the team and coaching staff for more than two hours, according to USA Today. Some wonderful young women have decided to leave our program and pursue their dreams elsewhere.

Athletics director Kirby Hocutt released this statement to USA Today about that process. There has been a mass exodus from Texas Tech’s women’s basketball program.

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein. He sent a text message to team members Thursday night before announcing Stollings’ termination.

I have thoroughly discussed this review with coach Stollings and am confident that we are taking appropriate steps to improve the relationship and communication between coaches and student-athletes so that we can continue to grow the success of our program both on and off the court.”. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Find more Texas Tech stories from The Dallas Morning News here. Now, the entire world is watching. “Earlier this year, we were made aware of allegations of inappropriate behavior by a support staff member of our women’s basketball program. Brice Paterik, Texas Tech blogger. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/big12/2020/08/07/ Hocutt’s outlined how a committee reviewed the players' allegations against Petrella as well as other issues regarding the program. a USA TODAY investigation into what 10 players allege was an abusive culture under head coach Marlene Stollings, Lowry Dawkins and strength and conditioning coach Ralph Petrella.

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