Loyola to investigate coach Sheryl Swoopes after mass player exits

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Loyola University Chicago will internally investigate complaints made against women's basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes following a mass exodus of players from the program, the school announced Friday.

Ten of the team's 12 returning players have transferred or put in requests to be released from their scholarships, according to the Chicago Tribune. The mass departures came a year after five players transferred following the 2014-15 season.

The Loyola Phoenix reported, citing sources close to the program, that some team members elected to leave because they took issue with Swoopes' treatment of individual players.

According to the student newspaper's sources, at least one player met with athletic director Steve Watson and voiced concerns about Swoopes' demeanor.

"Any time there are allegations of student-athlete mistreatment, it is more than concerning," deputy athletic director Jermaine Truax said in a statement. "The welfare of our student-athletes is paramount. Thus, the Loyola University Chicago Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has asked for an independent and comprehensive university investigation into the women's basketball program.

"Coach Swoopes is aware of and will fully cooperate with the investigation. We look forward to learning how we can resolve these allegations and improve the student-athlete experience within the women's basketball program."

Swoopes, a four-time WNBA champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist, was hired at Loyola in 2013.

The Ramblers went 14-16 during the 2015-16 regular season and finished fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference. They are 31-62 overall in three seasons with Swoopes at the helm.

Swoopes was recently elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.