(via USF Communications) - An independent review of the USF men’s basketball program concluded that Associate Head Coach Tom Herrion committed misconduct in violation of university policy stemming from inappropriate comments made to student-athletes.
Following the review, USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly has decided not to renew Herrion’s contract and Herrion is no longer with the program.
“It is highly disappointing that the review confirmed isolated actions involving Coach Herrion’s interactions with student-athletes that are simply unacceptable,” Kelly said.
The independent review of the men’s basketball program, conducted by the firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC, included 17 interviews of student-athletes, coaches and current and former staff members, as well as a review of related records, and university policies and regulations concerning diversity and inclusion and student and staff conduct.
Aside from Herrion’s conduct, the independent review found the men’s basketball program is “proactive in addressing racial issues” and does not have a hostile or problematic culture as it relates to the issue of race.
Other key review findings included, that “there is essentially no evidence that Coach Gregory or his staff failed to address a known racial problem” and that student-athletes believed “the leadership of the MBB program was proactive and effective in addressing racial and social justice issues.” The review also found that Coach Gregory became aware of only one of the allegations presented and, when informed of the incident the day after it occurred, reported it to administrators that day. Members of the administration and Coach Gregory agreed on a course of action, as detailed in the report.
“I was pleased to see the report’s findings that head coach Brian Gregory and our administration are, and have been, operating in accordance with the University of South Florida’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and that our processes for ensuring those commitments are upheld,” Kelly said. “Overall, the review reaffirms my belief in Coach Gregory’s leadership of our program. Moving forward, our entire athletic department will continue to be dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment that allows every student-athlete to thrive.”
Starting in August 2020, USF Athletics began participating in a nationally recognized diversity and inclusion training program offered through the Institute of Sport and Social Justice in Orlando, Florida. Many coaches and staff have completed, or are in the process of completing, the program that will be mandatory for all.
Athletics also bolstered its commitment to diversity and inclusion by establishing an Inclusive Excellence Committee in July 2020, with representation from across the athletic department, including head coaches, staff, and student-athletes. Senior Woman Administrator Marquita Armstead also added the title of Chief of Diversity and Inclusion with direct oversight of cultivating and retaining a diverse and inclusive department as leadership in this area was elevated to a cabinet-level position.
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