UPDATED: 8:41 p.m. ET, Jan. 21 —
The University of Evansville has fired its men’s basketball coach over what it said was a violation of the school’s Title IX policy that addresses issues of sexual misconduct. Walter McCarty was dismissed on Tuesday, according to a press release from Evansville’s athletic department.
McCarty was placed on administrative leave shortly before the new year. However, since then, the press release said, “the University has received additional reports of alleged misconduct by Mr. McCarty during his tenure at UE.” The press release went on to say that McCarty had been warned of “regarding inappropriate off-court behavior with members of our campus community.”
The exact details surrounding the firing were not immediately clear.
This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.
The University of Evansville head coach Walter McCarty led the team in a victory over Kentucky causing a major upset for college basketball fans. However, the team’s future is tangled in uncertainty as the university announced on Friday that McCarty was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into “unwelcome conduct.” The former NBA player-turned-college hoop coach has been accused of violating the school’s Title IX policy, the Springfield News-Leader reports.
The Title IX policy is enforced to “protect people from discrimination based on sex, particularly on college campuses,” CBS Sports reports.
“The University has received reports of unwelcome conduct by Coach McCarty since his arrival in March 2018,” UE President Pietruszkiewicz said in an internal letter to university staff. “We have counseled him about his behavior. In the last two weeks, the University received a troubling report about Coach McCarty’s interactions with a member of the campus community. We have placed Coach McCarty on leave while that incident is being investigated.”
Pietruszkiewicz also noted that a national law firm will be conducting the investigation and although McCarty has “enjoyed great success with our Men’s Basketball program and is popular figure throughout the community,” he is not exempt from abiding by the university’s standards and policies.
While the university explained the measures they are taking to investigate the allegations, they have not disclosed what actually happened. Instead, the Springfield News-Letter reports that Evansville “does not intend to publicly discuss or disclose any specific details related to the investigation.”
But, what really happened?
At this point, the only information shared with the public is that reports were made accusing McCarty of misconduct and that the university not only “counseled him about his behavior,” but they have also suspended him.
Michael McCann of “Sports Illustrated” provided insight on the university’s decision to withhold further information. “Evansville is a private college, so isn’t subject to public records requests. That could limit what public learns about Walter McCarty’s alleged ‘unwelcome conduct.’ School must follow Title IX obligations and school policies or McCarty could later argue he wasn’t treated fairly,” he tweeted.
Additionally, former Stamford head coach, Bennie Seltzer, will serve as interim head coach amid McCarty’s suspension and investigation.
“We have named Bennie Seltzer as interim head coach of the Men’s Basketball team. Coach Seltzer previously serves as the head coach of Samford University and held assistant coaching positions at the University of Oklahoma, Marquette University, Indiana University and Washington State University. We are confident he and his assistants will provide the leadership qualities we expect from our coaches,” the internal letter continued.
The team, which holds a 9-4 record this season, will play Missouri State in the Missouri Valley Conference on New Year’s Eve, without McCarty on the sidelines.