Former Gophers women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings is the subject of an investigative report published Wednesday by USA Today headlined: "Texas Tech women's basketball players describe toxic culture: 'Fear, anxiety and depression' "
Stollings left Minnesota for Texas Tech after the 2017-18 season and was replaced by Lindsay Whalen. In her four seasons with the Gophers, Stollings' teams were 82-47 and made two appearances in the NCAA tournament.
The USA Today report stated: "In a series of season-ending exit interviews, players alleged a culture of abuse in the Texas Tech program since Stollings took over in April 2018. They say a toxic atmosphere has prompted an exodus of players, including 12 of 21 leaving the program, seven of whom were recruited under Stollings. Two players detailed these allegations to the NCAA and were granted waivers allowing them to play the next season."
USA Today reporters The Intercollegiate, which obtained exit interviews with Texas Tech players through a public records request.partnered with a college sports investigative outlet called
Allegations against Stollings are her staff includes sexual harassment by a strength and conditioning coach who has since resigned, foreign players saying they were ridiculed and a player who said she was "admonished by coaches for displaying symptoms of depression."
One former Texas Tech player, Mia Castenada, who transferred to Washburn University in Kansas, told USA Today: “They were breaking not just athletes, they were breaking people. And they didn’t realize that.”
A committee at the school was formed to review the allegation and athletics director Kirby Hocutt told USA Today: "I have thoroughly discussed this review with coach Stollings and am confident that we are taking appropriate steps to improve the relationship and communication between coaches and student-athletes so that we can continue to grow the success of our program both on and off the court."
Stollings said in a statement published in the article: "We know change is difficult and that has been no different at Texas Tech. Some wonderful young women have decided to leave our program and pursue their dreams elsewhere. I hope they have found everything they are looking for at their new destination. Our administration and my staff believe in the way we are building and turning this program around here. Our student athletes are developing a disciplined approach both on and off the court."
Stollings has a 31-27 record in two seasons at Texas Tech, including 10-24 in the Big 12 Conference.