Ex-Auburn softball player Alexa Nemeth has accused her former coaches and administrators of abuse, sexual harassment and an ensuing cover-up, according to ESPN.
The allegations, sent to school officials and Alabama governor Kay Ivey in a 14-page complaint, appear quite serious. In a Title IX complaint filed weeks ago, Nemeth wrote that coach Clint Myers allowed his son Corey, an associate coach, to “have relations and pursue relations with multiple members of the team,” then threatened the players when they objected. Nemeth’s complaint was sent through attorney Martin Greenberg. Via ESPN:
Greenberg’s letter alleges that on March 30, 2017, “several players approached Head Coach Myers with proof in the form of text messages from a student-athlete’s cell phone that Coach Corey was having an inappropriate relationship with one of the student-athletes.”
According to the letter and several players, the team was then “quarantined” for several hours prior to a trip to Georgia. Five players told ESPN that, at that meeting, Auburn executive associate athletic director Meredith Jenkins told the players they were risking arrest for taking the text messages from their teammate’s phone and ordered them to delete the messages.
Corey Myers resigned prior to that trip to Georgia, while Clint Myers retired abruptly on Wednesday, after ESPN approached him to ask about alleged abuse in his program.
Though Nemeth’s complaint seems to have centered around Corey Myers’ conduct toward players, ESPN reports that the problems in the program went deeper than that.
Recently, players associated with the program began discussing with ESPN a culture of routine manipulation, isolation and exploitation. Three former players spoke on the record about a program that, according to Nemeth, was “toxic” and “lacked any kind of institutional control.” One former player, when asked if any of the coaches ever commented on her looks, said, “That’s how it was determined if you were liked or not.”
ESPN obtained text messages from one player that show Corey Myers rating her appearance and heard from another player that the coach had slapped her butt, making her feel uncomfortable.
Nemeth was cut from the team following the 2017 season, per ESPN.
Any sexual or romantic relationship between Corey Myers and the players would violate Auburn policy, which prohibits such relationships between supervisors and those they are supervising, according to ESPN.
It’s hard to feel good about any of this. There are a lot of men coaching women in American college athletics (and nearly no women coaching men), and you would hope that all of them are in the business for better reasons than to hit on the players.