In an official release from Eastern Kentucky University today, the athletic department announced the results of the investigative review into the softball program. The decision was made to retain Jane Worthington as EKU’s head softball coach.
The investigation, which began immediately following allegations made in a July 4th Twitter post by a former softball student-athlete, featured interviews with over 30 current and former players, staff members, and administrators, as well as a review of records. The investigation found no EKU policy violations, criminal conduct by EKU coaches, or previous filings of formal complaints. In addition, no NCAA concerns were identified.
Vice President and Director of Athletics Matt Roan said “As a former student-athlete, there is nothing more important to me than the experience of our student-athletes,”. He went on to say “At Eastern Kentucky University, we take all allegations involving our athletics department seriously. We have fully cooperated throughout the investigative process with EKU Human Resources and appreciate the thoroughness of the review. The daily objective of EKU Athletics is to continually improve in every aspect of intercollegiate athletics. We will, in addition to implementing planned program and department improvements, follow the recommendations resulting from the review. I want to express my appreciation for all those who came forward and participated in the investigation.”
While the investigation found no violations, evidence was found to indicate needed improvement of communication, including but not limited to team expectations, communication of available nutritional and mental health resources, and use of effective motivational tactics. EKU Athletics will be adopting the following recommendations:
-A full-time director of softball operations; and Increased Sports Medicine and Sports Performance personnel and resources, including a dietitian.
-Educate coaching staffs on better ways to communicate with student-athletes
Emphasize with student-athletes the proper channels to address concerns and bring forth
-Clearly communicate the aspects of nutrition as a Division I student-athlete, as well as
the use of performance analytical data in ensuring peak performance and student-athlete
-Provide leadership development for student-athletes and coaches
-Ensure all athletic strength and conditioning activities are reviewed by Sports Performance staff.
The release also states that the mental health of student-athletes, coaches, and staff is of paramount importance. EKU has resources available and encourage all student-athletes, both current and former, and staff to utilize the resources below:
Coaches and Staff
The final HR findings included a 110 page report with interviews and other evidence backing up all of the statements taken in the report. Once more information comes about, WBONTV will continue to keep you updated.