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Women’s Basketball Coach Resigns from Boston University

Review panel finds conduct inconsistent with University standards

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Boston University BU, womens basketball coach Kelly Greenberg

The University will undertake a national search to replace women's basketball head coach Kelly Greenberg, who came to BU from the University of Pennsylvania. AP Photo/Fred Beckham

BU women’s basketball head coach Kelly Greenberg has informed University administrators that she is stepping down, effective immediately. This announcement comes in the wake of the University’s decision to convene a panel charged with exploring allegations that she mistreated players and that her coaching style drove at least four players to quit the team during the past year. Greenberg just finished her 10th season as head coach.

Todd Klipp, senior vice president, senior counsel, and secretary of the Board of Trustees, says that although the review panel found that many of the complaints raised by the four players could not be substantiated, “a compelling case was made, based on interviews with the team as a whole, that the manner in which Coach Greenberg interacted with many of her players was incompatible with the expectations and standards for University employees, including our coaches.” Klipp adds that “when we shared these conclusions with Coach Greenberg, she determined that it would not be possible for her to continue coaching at Boston University.”

“I have determined that it is in the best interest of the University, the women’s basketball program, and myself for me to resign my position as head women’s basketball coach,” says Greenberg. “I do not agree with some of the findings of the review panel regarding my coaching style, which was intended to produce well-rounded athletes and a winning team. However, given all that has transpired, I do not believe that it will be possible for me to continue as an effective coach at Boston University.”

Klipp says he is grateful that the panel, whose members were Elizabeth Loizeaux, associate provost for undergraduate affairs, Sara Brown, a Sargent College clinical associate professor and director of athletic training programs, and Lawrence Elswit, BU associate general counsel, conducted a comprehensive, thoughtful, and unbiased review.

The University will undertake a national search to replace Greenberg, who came to BU from the University of Pennsylvania, where she led the Quakers to two Ivy League titles.

14 Comments
Art Jahnke

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

14 Comments on Women’s Basketball Coach Resigns from Boston University

  • DISCUSTEDWITHGREENBERG on 04.23.2014 at 7:10 am

    While I am pleased that BU took action to “investigate the alleged issue” rather than sweeping it under the rug, I deeply believe that BU should return the remaining scholarships to the women who gave them up to escape Greenberg’s emotional abuse. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate hard work and discipline, as well as shining characters, and should not be lost due to an emotionally abusive coach. The team recipients of Greenberg’s gross toxicity are young women, likely living away from family homes for the first time, beginning to negotiate their adult lives and build their educations, and NOT accustomed to dealing with this kind of person. (Other publications have reported more specifically how Greenberg treated the team members.) I hope BU will do right by Greenberg’s victims and re-award what remained of their individual scholarships.

    • anonymous1 on 04.23.2014 at 4:08 pm

      I won’t lie…it is hard to take what you say seriously when you cannot spell disgusted the right way and that is the name you go by…..

      And if what the players said was largely unsubstantiated…why should they get scholarships back??

    • DM on 04.23.2014 at 4:54 pm

      I think what we have here is a case of the Millenial mind set and value system, such as it is, in conflict with a historical and traditional method of getting people to perform. It is sad that the University couldn’t support their employee in her attempts to improve the resilence of their players all the while creating a world class Basketball program. If Coach was guilty of anything it was of having a weak recruiting strategy and program.

  • Tim on 04.23.2014 at 9:38 am

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/11/jack-parker-bu-hockey-scandal/

    Still employed by the University

  • betty on 04.23.2014 at 4:13 pm

    it always comes down to the $$$$ – don’t even attempt to sugar-coat it.
    had she been “a favorite of donating alumni” or coaching an essential revenue-producing program it would have been squashed.

    • Bigger picture on 04.24.2014 at 12:44 am

      Division I athletics are not easy, and it takes a specific mindset to play at that level. It takes a certain will and desire. Just because one believes that they can play at that level doesn’t mean they can handles the demands that come with it. I think everyone needs to step back and realize that coaches are out of jobs and players gave up the game. The issue is larger than Coach Greenberg and the women that made the allegations.
      It is ridiculous to think that this isn’t an issue in other colleges.

      • CBF on 04.24.2014 at 2:17 pm

        Well said. People do not realize how much larger this issue ultimately is. People are out of job, lives changed. These girls made their “accusations” and went on their way. From what it seems like they’re enjoying this sabbatical of not being in school, as more than one has gone on vacation, and all are on social media continuing on with their lives. One accusation goes a very long way. These young adults are the ones who need to realize what their words can do to others, not Coach Greenberg.

  • Lula on 04.24.2014 at 10:24 am

    It also takes a specific mindset to coach at the Division 1 level. A certain will and desire to coach in a way that you win games without attacking the character of your players and abusing them, emotionally and medically. Just because she coached that way in the past, doesn’t mean she can handle the demands of a changing world where this behavior is not tolerated anywhere anymore. I don’t care that these coaches are out of a job, they were on the wrong side of this issue and chose to stay there.

    • Laurie on 04.24.2014 at 6:11 pm

      I agree!

  • anonymous on 04.24.2014 at 12:57 pm

    It absolutely goes on in other colleges. My student is suffering under the same type of “coaching strategy.” Are we saying that coaches can’t build a successful program without bullying and emotionally abusing their athletes? These students make their decision to attend a certain college based on the best information they have during recruitment. When they arrive and find the atmosphere toxic they have very few options. Transfer (but only with a coach sign off–effectively muzzling them), give up their sport/scholarship (a very sad option), speak up and try to fight within the system (a brave and difficult option). Tough coaching does NOT equal abuse and fear does NOT equal respect!

  • Absolutely on 05.24.2014 at 9:55 am

    CBF, your logic escapes me. These young ladies are on social media and going on with their lives? What is it you think they should do with their lives? No social media? Crawl under a rock somewhere and hide in shame?
    These young ladies made very difficult decisions to stand up against an abusive authority figure in their life and walked away from their education because they refused to be abused, they deserve credit for what they did.
    As for” one accusation goes a long way” that is absolutely incorrect. There were over half the girls that this coach recruited went to the school administration about this coaches abusive behavior, that’s not “one accusation” but closer to 20.
    As for the people out of jobs, they deserve to be out of jobs. They either were afraid to stand up to the head coach or sold their souls for a paycheck, either way they did not stand up for what is right and allowed themselves to be part of the problem and not part of the solution. When these young ladies talked with the panel and many of the accusations were unsubstantiated, that means the assistant coaches lied to protect their paychecks and allowed the former head coach to get away with abusive behavior.
    The panel and the school administration deserve credit for getting rid of this coach and most of her staff. I wonder if they will do something about the AD that allowed this to happen numerous times under his watch. He also gave the former head coach, raises and extra years to continue her reign of abusive behavior. They should get rid of him ASAP.

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