Former Loyola University women’s basketball player Cate Soane has spoken out about the “emotional abuse” she says endured under head coach Sheryl Swoopes, reports ESPN.
“I was humiliated, belittled,” Soane said, adding that she was “subject to a lot of inappropriate conduct.”
Swoopes became the subject of a university investigation after 10 of the team’s 12 returning players transferred or asked to be released from their scholarships. Five additional players transferred after the 2014–15 season.
Soane said Swoopes often threatened to remove players from the roster or take away their scholarships, which created a difficult environment for the team.
“It made it hard to play,” Soane said. “It wasn't about working hard and having fun anymore. It was about surviving.”
Swoopes, 45, was a four-time WNBA champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist for the United States. She was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this month.
Soane added that Swoopes’ impressive career as a player did not translate to her being a good coach and that “no one should have to go through” what she want through at Loyola.