AND:LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Former New Mexico State coach Nikita Lowry is angry the school took her off the bench and named her an assistant athletic director.
"I'm a basketball coach, that's my craft, that's what I do," Lowry said Tuesday.
The move followed allegations by some of Lowry's players that she was abusive. One player said Lowry had pulled her hair during a practice. Another said she was forced to run until she collapsed and had to be hospitalized.
Lowry, who was in her second year as head coach, has denied the allegations and said Tuesday she wants the university to look further into the allegations.
"Am I guilty of the allegations. Am I innocent. I would think that's what people would want to know. If the allegations are so bad, should I be reassigned or should I be removed?" she said
Lowry said she had not talked with Faison about her reassignment and found out about it through a memo. She said the school had not addressed the allegations by reassigning her.
"I would hope they would do a good faith investigation," Lowry said. "It seems to me they've (allegations) been swept under the rug and I've been reassigned. I don't think that's fair."
"We've had drawn-out, protracted discussions and we've had several points where we had an agreement ... and things have changed," Faison said Monday.
Faison said the move was the best way for the program to move forward. Both Faison and Lowry declined to comment on what would happen if she refuses the reassignment.
"We'll address that if it happens," Faison said.
Lowry was placed on administrative leave Dec. 20 and assistant coach Marlene Stollings was named interim coach. Stollings and the two other assistants, Derek Johnson and Josh Pearson, quit last week in protest, saying the athletic department had stopped communicating with them.
On Sunday, several NMSU players talked about their grievances with the coach at a school-arranged news conference. Most of the players said they would quit if Lowry remained the head coach.
Faison said the school has started a search for a new coach. Elmer Chavez, an assistant to the men's basketball coach, is the current interim coach.
Ten players attended a news conference Sunday, and nine raised their hands when asked if they would quit if Lowry were reinstated. The 10th, Mari Sanchez, said she would stay because she is a senior
[Angel] Hayden said since the beginning of Stolling’s time as their head coach, many of the girls noticed something was different.
“It just went downhill with the coaches,” Hayden said.
Hayden said the ladies were called names. Additionally, Hayden had come down with a persistent cough. She said she would continually see a trainer instead of a doctor.
“I would take my medicine–didn’t get any better and then it was ‘oh well–it’s this, so now take these pills’ and they just kept giving me pills but never did I meet with the doctor in person. Well when I went home, because my mom works at a clinic, I finally got to go to the doctor and they told me I had pneumonia,” Hayden said.
Hayden admitted she was scared to go to the doctor behind her coaching staff’s back and feared getting kicked off the team for doing so.
Mia Castaneda, another former Lady Raider basketball player said issues also arose when players were given heart monitors.
“I was really excited for them to be able to share these kinds of results with me and tell me what exactly I needed to get better and to improve,” Castaneda said.
That changed for Castaneda, however, when she found out what they would actually be used for.
“I had to make a decision if I wanted to deal with bad health or if I was gonna just be okay with not being able to play,” Castaneda said.
Hayden added the heart monitors changed the game for her as well.
“It wasn’t like basketball anymore, it was just like ‘keep your heart rate up, keep your heart rate up,'” Hayden said.
Castaneda says none of their players are weak, and many went to administration for help. However, Hayden said nothing ever came of it.
Was quite happy to see her leave Minnesota and, selflishly, am glad a Gopher program is not in the national spotlight yet again for the wrong reasons. I do feel bad for the Texas Tech players that had to deal with this.I'd say it's at least a distinct possibility based on this tweet.
Play another year for ANY coach, or be the 2nd pick in the WNBA draft? Good move on Zahui B's part. Spending another year in college wasn't going to make her a better player or improve her draft slot. Because the professional money is less in WNBA and overseas, better to start earning sooner than later.Texas Tech AD issued statement saying he'd met with remaining players and staff yesterday and that the conversation would continue. Ultimately, however, I don't know how she'll be able to keep her job and I'm a bit surprised she still has it. Is the holdup the $2 million that's have to pay her on her remaining contract if they dismiss her? I'd be interested to know if the writers tried to contact Banham or Zahui B for this article. Given the way Stollings treated the TT international players, I'm wondering if Zahui B got the same treatment and I'm also wondering if that had anything to do with her bypassing her final year of eligibility with the Gophers. Would have been great to see her and Rachel play a full year together.
Kehinde, Taiye, Palma and Jasmine Brunson all retweeted Annalese's tweet. I also saw tweets from Karley Barnes and Danielle Garven talking about the USA Today article.I'm not saying what's being said in Texas isn't true, but I wonder why we never heard anything like this from players like Zahui B, Carlie Wagner, Rachel Banham, Kenisha Bell, Gadiva Hubbard, Destiny Pitts, Taiye Bello..or even Brewer from TT..
And don't forget, Norwood was the AD at the time. He had hired Stollings and was an abuser himself. Not exactly someone you would take your complaints to.Kehinde, Taiye, Palma and Jasmine Brunson all retweeted Annalese's tweet. I also saw tweets from Karley Barnes and Danielle Garven talking about the USA Today article.
I can see where this could have happened here. Players may have decided to not go to administration at the time or maybe they did and it was never made public.
Although none of those players transferred with her to tech when she left. That could speak to something.I'm not saying what's being said in Texas isn't true, but I wonder why we never heard anything like this from players like Zahui B, Carlie Wagner, Rachel Banham, Kenisha Bell, Gadiva Hubbard, Destiny Pitts, Taiye Bello..or even Brewer from TT..
If I recall, Teague took the Minnesota job before Stollings was hired at VCU. I believe Stollings was hired at VCU by Mike Ellis. Shortly after, Ellis followed Teague to Minnesota.Did he hire her 2x? At VCU, too?
Texas Tech fired women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings Thursday night amid allegations of abuse within the program, athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced in a statement.
Hocutt said he will have a video conference call on Friday at 4 p.m. ET.
In a text to members of the team, which was obtained by USA TODAY Sports, Hocutt said: "Good evening, I have really appreciated your trust in our conversation these past two days. I wanted to let y'all know we have decided to terminate Marlene as our head coach. We will be putting out a statement about it tonight. I will set up a zoom call for us tomorrow to touch base. Kirby"