USA Today makes claims of abuse in the Lady Raider basketball program


LUBBOCK, Texas — USA Today on Wednesday morning published claims of abuse within the Lady Raider basketball program. Among the claims was a “culture of abuse” since Marlene Stollings took over as head coach in 2018.

USA Today said five players complained that the former strength and conditioning coach, Ralph Petrella, sexually harassed players. USA Today said three players claimed that Stollings retaliated against players for bringing complaints by holding tougher practices.

Another claim published by USA Today: players would avoid taking pain medication as a way of keeping their heart rate up because there was an emphasis on heart rate during practice.

USA Today also said international players on the team were ridiculed.

USA Today Article: Texas Tech women’s basketball players describe toxic culture: ‘Fear, anxiety and depression’

Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt was quoted in the article. He said there were allegations of inappropriate behavior by one staff member who resigned when confronted.

In the article Stollings was quoted as saying, “I want our students, fans and alumni to know we are committed to winning championships at Texas Tech and doing it the right way through hard work, accountability and fierce determination.” reached out to Texas Tech. A representative of Texas Tech Athletics said Texas Tech would reply on statements already published by USA Today and the university would offer no further comment.

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