LUBBOCK, Texas — Following the release of USA Today’s article detailing accounts of several players’ accounts with Texas Tech women’s basketball coach, Marlene Stollings and staff, EverythingLubbock.com spoke to two former players about their experiences.
Angel Hayden had decided to remain anonymous for USA Today’s article, however, has since decided she wants to share her story. She said basketball has always meant a lot to her.
“We’ve never had coaching staff–whether it was in high school, whether you were old or transfer–had coaches treat you like you were so dumb,” Hayden said.
Hayden said since the beginning of Stolling’s time as their head coach, many of the girls noticed something was different.
“It just went downhill with the coaches,” Hayden said.
Hayden said the ladies were called names. Additionally, Hayden had come down with a persistent cough. She said she would continually see a trainer instead of a doctor.
“I would take my medicine–didn’t get any better and then it was ‘oh well–it’s this, so now take these pills’ and they just kept giving me pills but never did I meet with the doctor in person. Well when I went home, because my mom works at a clinic, I finally got to go to the doctor and they told me I had pneumonia,” Hayden said.
Hayden admitted she was scared to go to the doctor behind her coaching staff’s back and feared getting kicked off the team for doing so.
Mia Castaneda, another former Lady Raider basketball player said issues also arose when players were given heart monitors.
“I was really excited for them to be able to share these kinds of results with me and tell me what exactly I needed to get better and to improve,” Castaneda said.
That changed for Castaneda, however, when she found out what they would actually be used for.
“I had to make a decision if I wanted to deal with bad health or if I was gonna just be okay with not being able to play,” Castaneda said.
Hayden added the heart monitors changed the game for her as well.
“It wasn’t like basketball anymore, it was just like ‘keep your heart rate up, keep your heart rate up,'” Hayden said.
Castaneda says none of their players are weak, and many went to administration for help. However, Hayden said nothing ever came of it.
“Things need to be looked into more….Things need to be taken seriously because it’s people at hand and not just athletes,” Castaneda said.
She also said she doesn’t want Stollings to be fired, but she does want coaching staff to change their approach.
“They’re smart so what they add to the game is definitely necessary, but they should definitely rethink and relook at the way they do things.
Below is a statement from Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt on the Texas Tech women’s basketball program:
“There is nothing more important to Texas Tech and me personally than the experience of our student-athletes. I met with the Lady Raider basketball team this afternoon for more than an hour and subsequently with the team and coaching staff for more than two hours. We will continue our conversation tomorrow to work through concerns about our program as we seek a path forward to make sure we are providing an environment to educate, serve and grow our student-athletes.”