According to a report, former Brandeis coach Brian Meehan allegedly told a player, "I will ship you back to Africa."
Former Brandeis basketball coach Brian Meehan allegedly discriminated against black players, told injured players they were "dead" to him and gave his sons preferential treatment, Nick Martin of Deadspin reports.
On Thursday, the university announced Meehan's firing, citing "serious discrimination complaints" made by multiple students last year and a new complaint filed earlier this week as the cause of his termination. The Brandeis human resources department opened an investigation into Meehan in May 2017 after a formal complaint made by players, but it was concluded in November and the players received no information regarding the contents of the conclusion or any potential punishment, according to Deadspin.
According to a group of three former and current Brandeis players who spoke to Deadspin, athletic director Lynne Dempsey and other officials ignored Meehan's discriminatory and at times abusive behavior for years. According to emails between the players and Brandies HR obtained by Deadspin, an HR report in relation to the investigation and complaints filed last year and the interviews with the three former and current players, Meehan's discriminatory behavior had been going on for years and was mentioned as a key reason for multiple players either quitting the program or being cut by Meehan.
According to Deadspin, some of the stories mentioned in the interviews, emails and HR report involve players playing through injuries out of fear of how Meehan would treat them if they rested, nepotism toward Meehan's sons such as letting them miss practice but still play in games, and racially motivated comments made toward black players.
One player told Deadspin that in 2018, after the HR investigation into Meehan, the coach allegedly told one player who came from Africa, "If you ever talk to me like that again, I'll ship you back to Africa." That player also told Deadspin that Meehan allegedly commented on that same player from Africa on another occasion, saying, "Oh, I don't want to sit next to him because I'll get Ebola."
The HR report from November 2017 also noted that since 2011, white players on average last almost a year longer with the Brandeis program than black players, and only one black player has graduated from the program "in the last four years."
Meehan had been the coach at Brandeis since 2003. Over the last four seasons, Brandeis has gone just 33-66, including going 7-18 this past season.