Purdue investigating 'bullying' claims against women's basketball coach Sharon Versyp

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Purdue women's basketball coach Sharon Versyp
Longtime Purdue coach Sharon Versyp and her director of women's basketball operations are accused of creating a "toxic and hostile environment" within the Boilermakers program. (Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Purdue is investigating claims that longtime women’s basketball coach Sharon Versyp ran a “toxic and hostile environment” with her program, according to the Lafayette Journal and Courier.

Versyp, the all-time winningest coach in program history, is set to enter her 16th and final season with the school this year.

Director of women’s basketball operations Terry Kix is also being investigated for similar claims. Purdue’s office of institutional equity is conducting the probe, and Versyp and Kix have been interviewed. It’s unclear when the investigation started or at what stage it is in, but the Journal and Courier obtained an internal document involved with the investigation that was dated May 20.

Neither the university nor Versyp were available to the Journal and Courier to comment.

Purdue investigating Sharon Versyp on ‘bullying’ claims

According to the report, allegations against Versyp and Kix date back to the 2018-19 season.

Versyp allegedly didn’t allow two players into their locker room after a loss and told them that they were “selfish and not for the team.” She reportedly confronted a player after a loss claiming that the player “attacked [Versyp] and Kix in an interview,” and then both she and Kix made life “miserable” and “made an example” of that player in practice before telling her that she was “pathetic” and “didn’t belong here.”

Versyp also reportedly called players “fat” in front of the team on several occasions and was engaged in “bullying” of her staff, and at one point told players not to speak to an assistant coach.

Kix allegedly confronted a player on a plane back to Purdue after a loss when she thought that player was laughing at the back of the plane, and “began yelling and screaming” at the player. The player had headphones on and was listening to music, and told the coach this. Kix reportedly then called the player a “two-word expletive,” hit the player on the arm and knocked the phone out of her hand. Kix allegedly had to be restrained by other players.

Versyp reportedly knew of this altercation, but downplayed it to the player’s mother as “tough love.”

Versyp, a Purdue graduate, has compiled 301 wins in her 15 seasons leading the Boilermakers. She is set to retire after this season, and will be replaced by former Boilermakers star and current associate head coach Katie Gearlds.

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