U Of I Plans No Personnel Changes In Women's Basketball Program

Aug 4, 2015

Mike Thomas (left) and Phyllis Wise

The University of Illinois’ Urbana campus chancellor and athletic director don’t expect any personnel changes in the women’s basketball program – after a law firm hired by the university found no evidence of racial discrimination or player abuse.

A Chicago firm said the claims of a racially hostile environment… in a lawsuit filed by seven former players… are unsupported.

Chancellor Phyllis Wise says the firm reviewed over 18-thousand documents, interviewed more than 30 people, and reviewed hours of game and practice video:
 
 “We are convinced that they did as thorough a job as could possibly be done for the evidence they have now.   You know, there’s always the possibility that in the future at some point there will be new data, but we don’t predict that will happen.  You can go with only what you have," she said.
 
But Wise and U of I athletic director Mike Thomas says women’s basketball and other sports on campus will follow some of the recommendations in the report.  They include setting clearer standards for coaches’ conduct… and giving student athletes more guidelines for reporting complaints and concerns.

Meanwhile… the attorney representing the former basketball players, Terry Ekl,  says their 10-million dollar lawsuit will stand.   He says they had little expectation for ‘thorough, unbiased investigation’ from a law firm chosen and paid for by the U of I.