In the wake of published reports that BU women’s basketball head coach Kelly Greenberg has bullied players and driven several to quit the team, the University has formed a three-person panel to inquire into the allegations, which have drawn widespread media attention after they first appeared in a front-page report March 7 in the Boston Globe. Greenberg faced similar allegations from two players during the 2007–2008 season.
“We take these allegations very seriously, and we will look into them promptly, thoroughly, and in an unbiased manner,” says Todd Klipp, BU senior vice president, senior counsel, and Board of Trustees secretary. The panel members are 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.
“I have met with them and they have begun their work,” Klipp says. “It is my hope that they will complete their inquiry within the next few weeks.”
On Saturday, March 8, about 30 current and former student-athletes gathered outside Agganis Arena to rally in support of Greenberg, who is in her 10th season coaching the Terriers. She is the second-winningest coach in team history, with 173 victories and 5 top-three finishes. The supporters held placards reading “Coach Greenberg Cares” and “We Love Coach Greenberg.” They described Greenberg as “tough but fair.”
The former team members who spoke to the Globe told a different story. Of the four women who quit the team this year—all attending BU on athletic scholarships—one said Greenberg’s bullying drove her to seek mental health care, another said she “felt demolished as a person,” and a third said she considered suicide. One told the Globe that she left BU after her “spirit was broken.” The basketball season is over, and one of the complainants is a senior and would be leaving the team anyway. On Saturday, March 15, the Globe reported that two other players had come forward, one claiming that she left the team after being bullied during the 2011–2012 season, and one that she left after being verbally and emotionally abused in 2004. Both had full athletic scholarships.
Greenberg told BU Today that “out of respect for the review process and Boston University, I will not have any public comment at this time.” The Globe reported Saturday that she has hired an attorney. Last fall the coach received a contract extension through 2017.
Greenberg came to BU in 2004 after five years at the University of Pennsylvania, where she guided her team to two Ivy League championships and was honored for two successive seasons as the Coach of the Year by the Daily Pennsylvanian, the daily independent student newspaper.