Head women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings has enjoyed some welcome success in her short time at Texas Tech. She took over a flailing program and, just last season, coached the Texas Tech Lady Raiders to their first winning season in six years. It seems she is on her way to returning the program back to its once proud glory. However, there’s always a line too far when it comes to the cost of success and it seems as though coach Stollings may have crossed that line far too many times.
Players say the toxic atmosphere prompted an exodus of players, including 12 of 21 leaving the program, seven of whom were recruited under Stollings. https://t.co/CcvYKQgOLO— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) August 5, 2020
Numerous players have come out against coach Stollings accusing her of player abuse with one, Erin Degrate, who transferred to Baylor a season ago, stating that, “(Stollings’ system) was basically like a torture mechanism.” Many of those players considered the program to be toxic and have an abusive culture, as well as verbal belittlement and admonishment that affected players’ mental health.
Arguably the most damning accusation of them all, is former strength and conditioning coach Ralph Petrella being accused of sexually abusing some of the players. Petrella has been accused of using a therapy technique that unneccessarily touches players’ sensitive areas and making innapropriate comments towards them.
Texas Tech is investigating all these allegations and conducting a full review of the women’s basketball program.
Since Kirby Hocutt has taken over this program in 2011, he has already had to deal with a men’s basketball coach accused of player abuse in Billy Gillispie and a player accused of sexual assault in Jett Duffey. This is now the third large scale abuse case to happen in his athletics program and considering he hired both Gillispie and Stollings, it is time for him to also be held accountable for how he handles this case going forward.