Thursday, July 21, 2016

Washington Post reports Coach Lonergan verbally abuses players, athletic director

Updated: original post below

July 22: ESPN reports GW is bringing in outside counsel.

Mo Creek went on the Sports Junkies defending Lonergan.

July 21, 10am: Lonergan released an email statement to Mid Major Madness:
"I will not respond to anonymous, unfounded allegations. These types of accusations have already been investigated by the University and found to be groundless. Those who know me know that I conduct myself and run my program with integrity. I have a long record of graduating student-athletes who go on to be successful in life. I am proud of my student-athletes’ success on the court and in the classroom, and I am focused on preparing for the upcoming season."
1:30pm: Patricio Garino tweeted in support of the coach:

Original post:

Wow, this is a big one. The Post has an article quoting anonymous players and GW basketball sources that head coach Mike Lonergan verbally abused players and athletic director Patrick Nero. Among other things, Lonergan is alleged to have told one player his son would always be on food stamps, and that other should be playing in a "transgender league"

He also allegedly told players that AD Nero was obsessed with them, wanted to watch practice takes so he could masturbate to them, and had sexual relations with one players. One of the anonymous players said the coach would constantly rant about Nero. A Title IX expert called some of the allegations sexual harassment.

The article has a lot of damning allegations, including university Title IX coordinator Rory Muhammad telling one player the issue had been handled when he came to complain.

It also says that multiple players transferred because of the abuse. One event attended therapy and considered quitting basketball.

This is all anonymous, but the Post reports that they do have emails from players with the complaints they submitted. Lonergan, Muhammad and the university have not commented.

On social media, former player Isaiah Armwood called the allegations "100% bullshit" but also said players were soft -- which to me, means he isn't denying it happened, just that players should have been able to handle it.

I've heard in the past that Lonergan was very hard on players, but I didn't hear it was things like this. Complaining about the AD, alleging he masturbates to players, and insulting the players so severely is completely absurd and should never happen. It's one thing to be tough on players. It's another to insult them, cause them to seek counseling, and sexually harass them and the athletic director.

If these allegations are true, I think Lonergan should be fired. And if players complained about this and nothing was done, which seems to be the case, someone else should be fired.

Maggie Lonergan, the coach's wife daughter, tweeted a bible verse although that may be unrelated, don't know for sure.
Here's some of Zeek's tweets on the issue. Other current and former players have been quiet.

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