COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) The University of Maryland said Friday that an assistant women’s basketball coach resigned, following his suspension after a player he coached at Xavier University accused him of groping her.
The school released a statement from head women’s coach Brenda Frese about Bryce McKey, hours after his arraignment in northern Kentucky.
”It is best that Bryce tend to his personal matters and step away from coaching at this time,” Frese said. She had announced his hiring for her staff in April, after he served four years as an assistant coach at Xavier.
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Earlier Friday, a Kenton County, Kentucky, prosecutor said McKey’s attorney entered a not-guilty plea for him on a charge of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8.
McKey’s attorney, Harry Hellings of Covington, said they couldn’t say much about the case yet without knowing more about the allegations.
”We haven’t seen anything that substantiates the charges,” Hellings said.
A phone message was left at the office of McKey, who didn’t attend Friday’s hearing.
According to a sworn affidavit, the Xavier (of Cincinnati) player said McKey asked her to come to his home in Covington in May. She said during the evening, he repeatedly touched her inappropriately.
She ”states her relationship with McKey has strictly been a coach/player relationship and she wanted no romantic involvement and his actions were not welcomed,” according to the affidavit. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who may have been sexually abused.
The woman is still a Xavier player. University spokeswoman Kelly Leon said McKey was not a Xavier employee at the time of the alleged offense, and she referred other questions to Covington police.
Covington Police Chief Bryan Carter confirmed that police have been investigating McKey, but he declined to discuss details.
Chief Prosecutor Charles Vaughn, of the Kenton County Attorney’s Office, said McKey was ordered to have no contact with the player, but declined to comment further.
A court clerk official said McKey is not allowed within 500 feet of the player, the campus or Xavier events.
University of Maryland spokesman Zack Bolno had said Friday morning that McKey was suspended indefinitely.
McKey had befriended the player’s family over several years, and they had entrusted their daughter to Xavier and to McKey, the player’s attorney said after court.
”We are here to suggest and say: `No more,’ and to put an end to this type of abuse,” said attorney Walter Madison, who was accompanied by members of the player’s family.
Associated Press writer Dan Sewell in Cincinnati and Sports Writer David Ginsburg in Baltimore contributed to this report.