FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Allegations of abuse in collegiate athletics aren’t new, however, a recently published report in the Indianapolis Star reveals that the PFW Women’s Basketball Program has come under scrutiny.
22 people, including 14 players, six parents, an assistant coach and an athletic trainer have all spoken out against women’s basketball coach Niecee Nelson.
The Indianapolis Star reports that former trainer Chelsea Driver said that Nelson often went on verbal tirades and engaged in bullying as well as mental and even physical abuse. In some cases, she alleges that athletes were forced to play injured and denied medical care and food.
PFW officials acknowledged the allegations and said that Coach Nelson was placed on administrative leave during an investigation. She was reinstated after the investigation revealed she did not violate University Policy. PFW’s full statement is below.
Statement of Purdue Fort Wayne:
Thank you for providing the university an opportunity to comment on your story.
Purdue Fort Wayne Athletics’ top priority is the health and well-being of its student athletes. Because the allegations brought to the attention of the athletic department in late 2018 raised general concerns of fair treatment, they were also referred to the university’s Office of Institutional Equity, which conducted an additional review of the matter, interviewing each student athlete and staff member associated with the women’s basketball program. Coach Nelson was placed on administrative leave during the investigation and reinstated to her position after the university determined that she had not violated university policy. Coach Nelson is very aware of the concerns raised by some of her students and has worked closely with Athletics leadership to maintain a positive team environment and encourage clear lines of communication over the past 23 months.