Boston U. coach leaves school amid accusations of bullying
APR 23, 2014 5:45a ET
Boston University's women's basketball coach has left the school after being investigated when four players quit the team and accused her of bullying them.
Coach Kelly Greenberg confirmed she left in a statement on the BU Today website: "I do not agree with some of the findings of the review panel regarding my coaching style, which was intended to produce well-rounded athletes and a winning team," Greenberg said. "However, given all that has transpired, I do not believe that it will be possible for me to continue as an effective coach at Boston University."
While the abuse claims were not substantiated, Todd Klipp, senior counsel at the university, told BU Today that a "compelling case was made, based on interviews with the team as a whole, that the manner in which Coach Greenberg interacted with many of her players was incompatible with the expectations and standards for university employees, including our coaches."
One of the players who complained, senior guard Melissa Gallo, said "I hope this program will start heading in a positive direction."
"The whole reason I came forward was so the girls who are still on the team will have a much better experience than what I went through and what the other girls went through," she told the Boston Globe.
However, former player Mo Moran, one of Greenberg's supporters, decried the decision.
"As a whole, we're disappointed with the school and disagree with the decision they came to," Moran, who captained Greenberg's 2012-13 team, told the Globe. "I don't think the girls who complained took into consideration the livelihoods of Coach Greenberg and her staff. I hope this totally backfires on BU because of the way they handled this. I don't want anything to do with the school anymore, and it's a shame because I loved my four years there."
Greenberg allegedly emotionally abused her players to the point that two relinquished their $60,000-a-year scholarships and one player left school and went into therapy. One said she even considered suicide.
"Her treatment was very inconsistent," Gallo told ABC News. "Some days she wouldn't even acknowledge your existence. She would make you feel so unbelievably invisible, like you weren't even in the room, like you weren't a part of the team."
Gallo said she endured four years of abuse from Greenberg, who called her "selfish" and "high-maintenance," and that the coach's behavior made her cry all the time and led her to quit.
"I had a terrible experience and it made me hate the game that I came into BU loving, and I don't wish that upon anyone," she said.
It's not the first time Greenberg has been accused of mistreating players. She was investigated by the school in 2008 when two scholarship players quit the team amid similar allegations. And after the four recent players quit, two more former players came forward to accuse Greenberg of abuse.
"I literally felt like she bullied me out of the program," Nikki Tamanosky told the Globe last month. "I came to hate myself because of her."
However, current and former players rallied around the coach, who had been at BU since 2004 and won America East Coach of the Year honors in 2009. A group of about 30 protestors demonstrated on campus last month to support the embattled coach.
"We were shocked," Danielle Callahan, a senior guard who co-captained this year's team, told the Globe. "It's kind of a nightmare to hear such things said about someone you care very much about and who cares a lot about you."
Several former players said they felt Gallo and the other players who quit, sophomores Dionna Joynes, Katie Poppe, and Dana Theobald, were too soft to handle the challenge of being Division I student-athletes.
"I think they didn't realize how hard it was going to be and couldn't handle it," Moran told the Globe. "The fact that four girls are trying to bring down something the coach has worked so hard for is disgusting to me."
BU struggled to a 13-20 finish this season, Greenberg's worst at the school. Overall she has a record of 186-127 with the Terriers.