Women’s basketball coaches Keith Brown, Tim Valentine placed on administrative leave
Update, 5:37 p.m.: This investigation comes on the heels of an alleged suicide attempt by one of the players. “The player’s friends say she is home with her family and getting better,” according to WJLA.
Original post: The Head Coach for the Georgetown women’s basketball team, Keith Brown, has been placed on paid administrative leave after allegations of misconduct surfaced two weeks ago. Assistant Coach Tim Valentine was also placed on leave. While the reasons for Valentine’s suspension are unclear, Brown has been accused of inappropriate language and unprofessional conduct.
WJLA broke the story earlier this week, and a statement released by Stacy Kerr, Georgetown’s assistant vice president of communications, confirmed that an investigation is active. Apparently students initially voiced the concerns about demoralizing and demeaning language that Brown allegedly employed to get results.
However, Tuesday evening, five underclassmen members of the squad came to the defense of their head coach. “The swearing, it’s never towards a player,” said freshman guard Jade Martin. “He’s trying to get his point across.”
Sophomore guard Katie McCormick agreed with Martin, “I think a lot of this is blown out of proportion. It’s unnecessary.”
Prior to his promotion to head coach, Brown served as an assistant coach for Georgetown. Over the past few years, the program has lost a few players, which WJLA says is due in part to Brown’s tough coaching style. However, the reason behind the departure of players like junior guard Jasmine Jackson have not been confirmed. All signs do point to coaching methods; with Head Coach Terry Williams-Flournoy at the helm during the 2011-2012 season, the Hoyas finished the season at 23-9. In Brown’s debut year, the Hoyas finished at 15-16, even with WNBA recruit Sugar Rodgers.
The Hoyas first game of the season is slated for early November against Richmond. While no timeline has been released for the investigations, it’s likely that some arrangement will be reached prior to the official start of the season. Krystal Reeves-Evans and Kenya Kirkland, the two remaining members of the coaching staff, will be taking over for Brown in the interim. The administration insists that they are taking the allegations seriously—read Kerr’s statement in full as follows:
Two weeks ago, concerns were raised regarding unprofessional conduct and the use of inappropriate language in coaching the Georgetown University women’s basketball team. Georgetown takes very seriously any allegations of misconduct and the university has an established review process that carefully investigates such cases.
As soon as we learned of this, the University immediately started an investigation into the conduct. We are taking steps to ensure this investigation proceeds expeditiously, thoroughly and fairly. It is important to the investigation for students, coaches, and staff to participate openly and honestly, and we have encouraged them to do so.
The investigation is ongoing and no conclusions have yet been reached. As is typical with these types of investigations, as we conduct this investigation, head coach Keith Brown and Assistant Coach Tim Valentine are on administrative leave.
Georgetown University expects the highest standards of ethics, integrity and professionalism from all members of its community.
In June, 2013 the Georgetown University Athletics Department adopted a new policy, “Maintaining a Respectful and Professional Relationships with Student Athletes. In addition, members of the Georgetown Athletics Department attended mandatory training sessions led by University leadership and outside counsel to ensure understanding of the new policy and to discuss issues relating to appropriate behavior between coaches, trainers and student athletes.
Practice and conditioning for the team will continue during this investigation. Coaching responsibilities are being handled by the assistant coaches.
Photo: Kat Easop/Georgetown Voice