Illinois Fighting Illini News
Three members of the women's basketball team have come forward with accusations of player abuse directed towards head coach Matt Bollant and former associate head coach Mike Divilbiss. The allegations include the following (via The News-Gazette).
- The coaching staff toyed with the idea of having separate practices for African-American players, in hope that they would quit.
- Coaches threatened that players would lose their scholarships for athletic reasons.
- Coaches would call players from the old coaching staff "CRABS" due in part to their skin color, and said they were part of a losing culture.
- Coaches ignored major injuries and claimed the players weren't tough enough.
According to The Daily Illini, the university has apparently already conducted an internal review into this matter. They concluded that no violations were committed.
In the Public Affairs office's release, it was stated that after the preliminary review, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Access and Academic Human Resources found that there was "no violation of applicable law or University policy." According to the release, the offices conducted more than 20 interviews with individuals who are both currently or formerly affiliated with the program.
Regardless of those findings, there will almost certainly be more inquiries into the matter now that the situation has been made public. The university can't and won't get away with a simple internal investigation here.
The athletic department issued a press release on Monday morning (before this story broke) to announce the departure of Mike Divilbiss; he'll be replaced by LaKale Malone, who is a current assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. No additional statements have been released at this point in time despite the news being picked up by national media.
Believe it or not, there was some positive news for the program on Monday. Illinois freshman Chatrice White was selected as one of 14 members for the USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship team.
The squad will travel to Alicante, Spain to compete in a round-robin tournament July 11-13 against U19 national teams from Australia, Canada, and Spain prior to arriving in Russia for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.
BTN and BTN Plus will provide live coverage of the entire Big Ten Tournament this weekend. The No. 1 seed Illini will play No. 8 seed Nebraska at 5:00pm CT on Wednesday night; Kevin Kugler and Danan Hughes will be on the call.
You can click here to see the tournament bracket. Below is the entire television/stream schedule:
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