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Purdue Women's Basketball Coach Sharon Versyp Allegedly Bullied Coaches, Players

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 18, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 06:  Head coach Sharon Versyp of the Purdue Boilermakers watches the game against the Maryland Terrapins during the Quarterfinals of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 6, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Purdue University's Office of Institutional Equity is investigating women's basketball coach Sharon Versyp amid allegations that she fostered a "toxic and hostile environment" with her players and bullied one of her assistant coaches, per Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal & Courier

The director of women's basketball operations Terry Kix is also named in an internal document for allegedly "cussing out players, and hitting a player's arm and knocking a cell phone out of her hand." The document states that Versyp was "fully aware of Ms. Kix's conduct" but did not put a stop to it.

Among the allegations made against Versyp are that she locked poor-performing players out of the locker room after a game, banned players from talking during a plane trip and regularly called her players "fat." She reportedly singled out one player in front of the team during a film session last year, telling her she was a "(expletive) pathetic leader. Your teammates don't look up to you."

In Feb. 2020, Versyp accused one player of having "attacked [Versyp] and Ms. Kix in an interview about the game" and made life "miserable" for her at the next practice and "made an example" of her in front of the team. 

She also allegedly bullied the coaching staff and at one point told players not to speak with a particular assistant. She also reportedly "unreasonably interfered with the coach's employment."

The accusations run from the 2018-19 season through last year. Five players entered the transfer portal at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

Versyp, 55, is entering her 16th and final season with the Boilermakers this year, with former Purdue guard Katie Gearlds set to replace her. Her 301 victories are the most in program history.