Home / Articles / Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper-Dyke accused of abusive behavior by former players - The Athletic

Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper-Dyke accused of abusive behavior by former players - The Athletic

The allegations span from Cooper-Dyke's time as a coach at UNC-Wilmington, USC and Texas Southern.

  • Posted on 05th May, 2022 18:00 PM
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Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper-Dyke accused of abusive behavior by former players - The Athletic Image

Several former players are accusing women's basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke of demeaning, demoralizing and abusive behavior during their time at their respective universities, according to an investigation by The Athletic.

The investigation revealed allegations that Cooper-Dyke routinely used overt sexual language with her players and that she and her staff doled out excessive punishment that team members say endangered players’ physical and mental health. The allegations span from Cooper-Dyke's time as a coach at Texas Southern (2012-13, 2019-22), USC (2013-17) and UNC-Wilmington (2010-12).

On Feb. 16, Texas Southern instituted a no-contact order between Cooper-Dyke and her players as part of a Title IX investigation. The order prohibited any “in-person contact, telephone calls, emails, texts, other forms of electronic communication, social media-based messaging or postings, and third-party communications, including communications through proxies.” Outside of practices and games, the coach and players were to have no contact at all.

An April 6 hearing was scheduled by the university. Cooper-Dyke retired March 17. Per Texas Southern policy, the university can dismiss a Title IX complaint if “the Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the University."

Players from UNC-Wilmington and USC alerted school administrators of Cooper-Dyke's actions during her previous tenures, but until the investigation at Texas Southern, she continued to coach and move from job to job. Several players said they fell out of love with or quit the sport because of Cooper-Dyke’s treatment.

On Wednesday evening, Cooper-Dyke texted The Athletic: “Throughout my years as a coach, I’ve had countless interactions with players in my role as their coach, mentor and friend. I had positive relationships with the majority of players and staff, and my only intention was to maximize players’ potential and help them be their best.

"While these allegations are untrue, everyone deserves to work, play and learn in a respectful environment, and I deeply apologize for and regret any words used during the course of a spirited game or practice that offended or hurt someone.”

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Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper-Dyke accused of abusive behavior by former players - The Athletic View Story

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