Loyola women's basketball head coach Sheryl Swoopes has broken her silence to address allegations of player mistreatment, she said in a statement by PPM Agency.
“In the recent months, there have been accusations and false attacks made of my character and coaching,” she said. “I have been silent respecting and trusting a process of due diligence. The appropriate time where you will hear my voice is soon coming. I will openly address the reckless reports and any questions of alleged wrong doing. I stand proudly in my values, actions and intent of representing the best interests for students - as athletes, but more importantly as individuals. There is nothing in my behavior, past nor present, as a coach or professional that reflects anything other than structure, encouragement and respect for others. I'm honored, privleged and grateful to be in a position as a coach at Loyola, cultivating students to be their best selves both on and off the court.”
The allegations were made just after Swoopes was announced as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In her career as a player, Swoopes won three Olympic gold medals, four WNBA championships and three WNBA MVP awards in 19 seasons.
She was placed under investigation after ten of Loyola’s twelve returning players have either transferred or asked to be released from their scholarships. Five others reportedly transferred following the 2014–15 season. Players were concerned with her involvement in their personal lives.
Cate Sloan was one of the more vocal former players.
“I was humiliated, belittled,” Soane said, adding that she was “subject to a lot of inappropriate conduct.”
The Ramblers finished 14–16 last season, Swoopes’ third as head coach. She had no prior coaching experience before arriving at Loyola.