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Texas Tech Fires Women’s Basketball Coach Marlene Stollings Amid Accusations of Abuse

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Author: Nick Selbe

Marlene Stollings and her staff had recently been accused by current and former players of fostering a culture of abuse.

Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced Thursday the firing of women’s head basketball coach Marlene Stollings, effective immediately. The school will hold a press conference Friday afternoon.

Stollings had recently come under scrutiny when a group of current and former Texas Tech players alleged that Stollings and her staff created a culture of abuse within the program. Since taking over the program in 2018, 12 players have departed the team.

According to a report from USA Today‘s Jori Epstein and Daniel Libit, among the issues the players brought up was Stolling’s commitment to keeping players’ heart rates over 90% capacity during play, which players described as a “torture mechanism.” Players wore heart rate monitors during games, practices and workouts. Players also claimed that international players were “ridiculed, isolated and threatened” by coaches.

Former player Emma Merriweather, who transferred out of the program, told USA Today she was criticized for having panic attacks, a symptom of depression for which she was later diagnosed. Merriweather also said Stollings took away her dog—calling it a “distraction” from basketball—and offered the dog to boosters.

“A lot of these girls had never experienced depression or extreme anxiety before they came to Tech and they experienced it with Marlene,” Merriweather told USA Today. “Coach Marlene was evil and manipulative and vindictive in a quiet watered-down manner, so you can’t outwardly say, ‘This person is evil.’ … Her values are not in protecting her team and the girls. That woman is a millionaire off being evil.”

Five players claimed strength and conditioning coach Ralph Petrella sexually harassed players. Per USA Today, Petrella was accused of making multiple suggestive comments to one player and using a recovery therapy technique that “involved applying pressure to some players’ chests and pubic bones and groins.”

Petrella denied the allegations but voluntarily resigned after the 2020 season.

Texas Tech women’s basketball finished with an 18-11 overall record last season, including a 7-11 mark against Big 12 opponents. The Lady Raiders have 11 Sweet Sixteen appearances but have not reached the NCAA tournament since 2013. 

Go to Source
Author: Nick Selbe