Northern Kentucky players accused head coach Camryn Whitaker of emotional abuse.
In a post on the blog site Odyssey, Northern Kentucky basketball player Taryn Taugher accused coach Camryn Whitaker of emotional abuse.
Taugher outlined a history of emotional abuse that focused on intimidation, manipulation and humiliation during Whitaker's three years with the program. She explained how Whitaker would attack specific players, highlighting that the majority of the abuse took place in the coach's office during one-on-one meetings.
"These verbal attacks were mostly behind closed doors, in her office, on what she liked to call the 'crying couch' where it was your word against hers," Taugher wrote. "Where she could get you alone and tear you apart. These meetings were mostly done weekly and before games, so you were so messed up from your beat-up-session that you couldn't possibly play well by game time. Personal attacks on your family, personality, work-ethic and body physique were also not uncommon."
Taugher's former teammates Kasey Uetrecht and Reece Mungar corroborated the senior guard's account to WTWL 5 in Cincinnati. Multiple other players and former players and some parents also backed the claims on various social media posts, according to Sarah Brookbank and James Weber of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Taugher also mentioned an instance when a former teammate with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, ran out of practice to use the bathroom. In response, Whitaker allegedly made the whole team run while also yelling in the direction of the bathroom the player went to use.
An incident involving Uetrecht and another former teammate, Shar'Rae Davis, has also been reported. Whitaker allegedly advised Uetrecht to stop sitting with her on the bus or risk losing playing time. Davis was forced to sit on the bus and in the restaurant alone and then had a hotel room by herself while the rest of the players shared rooms, isolating Davis from the team.
"I now understand why college athletes commit suicide," Taugher wrote. "Between the anxiety, and lack of sleep and appetite from the constant attacks on my character and family, I felt like I couldn't take it anymore."
The university released a statement saying, "We have taken these complaints seriously and they have been thoroughly reviewed separately by the Title IX and Athletics offices, and addressed in accordance with university policy."
Taugher claims players have gone to the athletic department and Title IX office previously regarding these allegations but nothing about Whitaker's behavior changed.