Segregated practices? In 2015? Say it ain’t so, guys
The Athletic Director of the University of Illinois can’t possibly be having a fun time at work these days. One of the school’s athletic programs were already under fire, including their Divison 1 football program, and now vicious allegations of racism and prejudice have been levied against what’s probably Illi’s most successful program: men’s basketball.
According to a letter penned by Illinois women basketball players and sent to the Illinois campus newspaper, Daily Illini, coaches of the women’s basketball team, the Lady Illini, used extremely racial tactics behind the scenes with players. Here’s an excerpt, courtesy of The Chicago Tribune.
The letters also noted that Bollant and Divilbiss created racial tension among players by derogatorily noting the race of Illini players and opponents and attributing racial stereotypes to each. The families allege black players mostly recruited by former coach Jolette Laws, who was fired by Thomas, at one point were called “crabs” by the current coaches.
One letter alleges that coaches considered having separate practices for African-American players.
Wow. Ahead of these accusations being made public, Mike Divilbiss resigned his position, and there’s a decent chance the team’s head coach, Matt Bollant, could follow. The report also mentioned the fact that certain players revealed coaches referred to Black players as “crabs” and some were forced to play through serious injury. You can read the full report over at the Tribune.