The women’s basketball coach at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester will take a leave from his coaching duties while the school investigates claims of abuse by a former player.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the college said that coach Bill Gibbons told his team that he was voluntarily offered to step back from coaching duties during the review. Assistant coaches will take over.
The college said that while they review the situation, Gibbons will be on administrative leave with pay.
A former basketball player recruited by the sues the school earlier this week, alleging that Gibbons was verbally and physically abusive and that the school ignored her claims.
Ashley Cooper filed the lawsuit in New York on Tuesday,according to the New York Post.
Cooper, who got a full scholarship to play at the school, left Holy Cross after her claims against Gibbons were allegedly ignored, according to the suit.
Gibbons would allegedly pull the back of Cooper’s shirt collar and squeeze the back of her neck, causing pain, the suit said.
Holy Cross said in a statement early Wednesday morning that it would review the new allegations made in the lawsuit, but that it had investigated previous claims.
“The physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of our students is our highest priority at Holy Cross. We just received the lawsuit and are in the process of reviewing it,” said the statement from Ellen Ryder, director of public affairs. “Ms. Cooper had brought her concern to the college and we investigated at that time. The lawsuit we received includes a series of new allegations, and we will now bring in outside counsel to review them.”
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