Former Evansville HC Walter McCarty Accused of Sexual Assault by Student

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2020

Evansville coach Walter McCarty directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
James Crisp/Associated Press

A woman who said former Evansville men's basketball coach Walter McCarty sexually assaulted her has retained an attorney to represent her for a potential lawsuit.

"This was the classic power imbalance," attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel said Wednesday, per Jill Lyman of 14News. "He was the town sweetheart, grew up in Evansville, returned after a successful NBA career and coached the basketball team to national success. When McCarty saw that the victim was in too vulnerable a position to protest his behavior toward her, he assaulted her. Thankfully, she reached out to a friend for support and the assault was reported to the university."

Evansville fired McCarty in December amid allegations of impropriety, specifically in regard to Title IX violations but didn't specify the nature of those violations. The school said in a statement it warned McCarty regarding his behavior last year.

"Last year, the University had issued warnings to Mr. McCarty regarding inappropriate off-court behavior with members of our campus community," the statement read. "Mr. McCarty also participated in training concerning acceptable behavior under Title IX.

"While the investigation of potential Title IX violations will continue under University policies, UE has decided that, based on the facts uncovered thus far, it is necessary to terminate Mr. McCarty's employment immediately."

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No criminal charges have been filed. It's unclear if police were contacted about the alleged assault. Tuegel said her client is not the only woman McCarty allegedly assaulted. 

"It's clear that my client wasn't the only victim," Tuegel said. "We have been informed that other women have come forward about McCarty's sexual misconduct. It's important that other survivors of this man's acts know that they're not alone, and we would encourage them to reach out to someone to report the misconduct. These women deserve to learn and work in an environment free of sexual violence and sexual harassment. My client asks that the community remain supportive of the men's basketball team, as well as the additional survivors who have come forward."

McCarty, who previously spent a decade in the NBA, was in this second season at Evansville. He previously served as an assistant coach with Louisville, the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics.