Swoopes feels “vindicated” despite being let go by Loyola
Sheryl Swoopes said she felt “vindicated” by the result of a 2½-month investigation conducted by Loyola two days after she was let go by the school.
“It’s my hope that the student-athletes will be provided a full explanation of what has unfolded,” she said in a statement Tuesday. “As students, they deserve truth and transparency. All I can say at this point is that I do feel vindicated. I was 100 percent pleased with what I thought clearly supported all I’ve ever tried to provide as a coach, an employee and the woman of character my mother has raised.”
The school announced Sunday night in a three-sentence statement that Swoopes wouldn’t be back next season. The statement made no mention of the investigation which began April 15 when 10 players asked to be released from their scholarships after the season ended. Five players had transferred from the school the year before.
In April, former players and a manager claimed that Swoopes had been emotionally abusive to them.
“Last week I was looking forward to what lied next, right after the holiday,” Swoopes said. “We’d been planning to greet eight of the 12 committed student-athletes to campus today. I’ve heard people speak of Transformation Tuesday and now I experience it. I’m disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to be there on this Tuesday as ‘Coach Swoopes.’”
Swoopes signed a contract extension in 2014 that had her working through the 2017-18 season.
Loyola is searching for a new coach with a key July recruiting evaluation period beginning this week.
Swoopes was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April.
She was hired in 2013 with only limited coaching experience, having served as an assistant at Mercer Island High School in Washington state in 2010, according to Loyola’s website.
She led Texas Tech to the 1993 NCAA title and was the first player signed by the WNBA. She won four straight titles with the Houston Comets and earned three Olympic gold medals.