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A Cautionary Tale: Lawyers’ Defense of Tom Jurich Overlooks Lacrosse Lawsuit and Accusations of Negligence

  via the Louisville Courier-Journal web site – picture from Inside Lacrosse web site  
Author’s Note:  I came across these articles by chance one day and within the first story was a lengthy write up about the Louisville women’s lacrosse program and how there were some covering up of incidents in the past, most egregious being the mistreatment of a player who had failed a fitness test and the aftermath of it.  This article became more important when the head coach was let go a few days ago, probably due to the developments that were kept quiet. I’m posting this to send a message to parents and players when it comes to the college recruiting process.  It doesn’t hurt to really check up on a program when allegations have been brought in the past.  That doesn’t mean that you put all your decision-making process into believing everything you hear, as sometimes rumors get spread as fact.  But it doesn’t hurt to investigate enough to be able to make an informed decision, as far as it is possible.  But it also makes sense to NOT stop at the point of matriculation, to make sure that if your son or daughter sees things they are uncomfortable with to be able to discuss them with you.  The Louisville program saw a large number of players who left the school at one time and that is also a potential warning sign to pay attention to. Here’s links to what I saw and the follow up and I suggest players and parents at least inculcate the potential warning signs that these articles have brought to light so they can see a potential issue down the line. Here is Inside Lacrosse’s article on the firing: IL: Louisville Removes Coach
  Original 10/25/17 Louisville Courant-Journal Article Excerpt:

A former University of Louisville lacrosse player has filed suit against the team’s coach and others accusing them of failing to provide proper medical care and of releasing her private health information, the Courier-Journal has learned.

The existence of the lawsuit, filed in August 2016 in Jefferson County court, contradicts a statement released Tuesday by fired athletic director Tom Jurich’s attorneys that claims there are “NO allegations of wrongdoing in a sport other than men’s basketball.”

Jurich’s attorneys put out the statement six days after he was fired to challenge whether the university had met the contractual requirement that it had cause to act.

“Tom Jurich’s job involved oversight of 23 sports (over 60 coaches) and men’s basketball is only one of them,” said the statement, framing the problems besetting the athletic department as confined to men’s basketball only.

Read the rest HERE   This is the 2013 article from the same publication that I believe first highlighted issues: Louisville Lacrosse Coach Accused of Abusive Tactics Excerpt:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Amid a banner year for the University of Louisville’s athletics program, some players and parents were seeking out the administration, angry about a coach whose tactics they say crossed the line.

In interviews with The Courier-Journal, six current or former U of L women’s lacrosse players from the past two seasons, and a group of parents, described coach Kellie Young as an abusive taskmaster who directed the program amid a culture of fear.

Among the players’ allegations against Young — including some that would violate the university’s Code of Conduct for employees — players said that she:

• Made a player with a torn anterior cruciate ligament do 250 push-ups as punishment in an airport terminal.

• Kicked a player off the team during a road trip, leaving her behind at the stadium when the team bus returned to the hotel.

• Told two teammates to sign a contract saying they would no longer speak to each other.

• Called players a series of vulgar names and used similarly vulgar terms to refer to their parents.

Read the rest HERE   And finally, on November 6th: Louisville Fires Women’s Lacrosse Coach Kellie Young Excerpt:

The University of Louisville announced the dismissal of head lacrosse coach Kellie Young on Monday.

The firing comes 12 days after Courier Journal reported that Young was accused of negligence in a lawsuit filed by a former player, Madeline Beck, in August 2016 and more than four years after Courier Journal reported accusations against Young for abusive tactics with players.

Young, who took over at Louisville in 2006, was fired after at least 15 players transferred or left the program over the past eight months, including six in recent weeks. Nine players departed after the spring season, including All-ACC goalie Brittany Read and second-team All-ACC midfielder Meghan Siverson.

Read the rest HERE   Again, I want to highlight all this to give parents and players another possible line of inquiry when they go to make such an important choice in the player’s life.