Mon, 21 Sep 2020

Report: Texas Tech also fires assistant coach

Field Level Media
08 Aug 2020, 02:40 GMT+10

Texas Tech fired assistant women's basketball coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins on Friday morning, hours after dismissing head coach Marlene Stollings on Thursday amid allegations that she mistreated her players, USA Today reported.

The firing of both women comes after a report from USA Today and The Intercollegiate that alleged abuses by Stollings, Dawkins and former strength and conditioning coach Ralph Petrella.

Exit interviews with 10 players, two former assistant coaches and two parents described the Lady Raiders program as having a "toxic environment" and a "culture of abuse."

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced Stollings' firing Thursday night in a statement.

USA Today obtained a copy of a text Hocutt sent to the team's players that read, "Good evening, I have really appreciated your trust in our conversation these past two days. I wanted to let y'all know we have decided to terminate Marlene as our head coach. We will be putting out a statement about it tonight. I will set up a Zoom call for us tomorrow to touch base. Kirby"

USA Today reported that Hocutt met with Dawkins on Friday morning before terminating her contract.

Dawkins played at Ohio State and was the head coach at New Mexico State and Detroit Mercy and an assistant coach at Ohio State, Michigan, Old Dominion and VCU before joining Stollings' staff at Minnesota in 2014. Stollings took Dawkins with her when she moved on to Texas Tech before the 2018 season.

In the initial USA Today report, players stated that they were ridiculed about their physical fitness levels, which the coaches measured using heart monitors. One player described being admonished for displaying symptoms of depression. Three international players expressed that they felt "isolated and threatened" by coaches. And five players made allegations of sexual harassment against Petrella, who resigned in March but has denied any wrongdoing.

--Field Level Media

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