Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced Thursday evening Lady Raiders head coach Marlene Stollings has been fired. The news release announcement came a day after a front-page USA Today story in which some players accused Stollings of fostering a toxic and abusive environment and retaliation against those who reported problems. Players say they endured physical and emotional abuse.
The move comes months after Hocutt said the university investigated allegations, which include claims former strength and conditioning coach Ralph Patrella sexually harassed players. According to the article, Tech formed a committee to review allegations of abuse against Patrella as well as other claims made against the program. The four-person committee included deputy athletics director Tony Hernandez and Title IX investigator Glenn Mellinger, according to a statement Hocutt gave to USA Today before the article was published:
"Earlier this year, we were made aware of allegations of inappropriate behavior by a support staff member of our women’s basketball program. When the individual was confronted with the allegations, the individual resigned from their position before any university review could take place," Hocutt said.
"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."
USA Today reports: "when asked to provide a copy of the committee's review, Tech said a report was given to Hocutt verbally."
Hocutt will hold a virtual news conference at 3 p.m. Friday to release additional information.
USA Today partnered with The Intercollegiate to obtain players' exit interviews. More on the process explained here.
On Wednesday evening Hocutt released this statement:
"There is nothing more important to Texas Tech and me personally than the experience of our student-athletes. I met with the Lady Raider basketball team this afternoon for more than an hour and subsequently with the team and coaching staff for more than two hours. 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."
Goodson is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 first team member.