Former Women’s Basketball Coach Sues University After Firing
Former Oakland University women’s head basketball coach Becky Francis, is demanding answers for her termination and is suing her former employer to get them. The coach of 16 years was fired from her position back in June for what she calls unknown reasons. Five months later she is claiming she still does not know the exact reason why she was “let go”. According to Detroit News, her husband Gary Russi, who just so happened to be the president of the University, resigned abruptly the same day Francis was fired.
Oakland University released a statement regarding the drama between Francis.
“The university has been engaged with the former head basketball coach’s attorney and has already provided her with substantial documentation,” OU said in a statement provided to the Free Press. “While doing so, however, the university has been careful to respond in a manner that properly balanced the university’s various legal obligations, including the federally mandated protection of student privacy rights. The university will continue to strive to protect the privacy rights of its students”
Three former players gave detailed accounts of their experiences with Francis anonymously in fear of what criticizing OU would do for their future whether it be employment or playing situations. The ladies told Freepress that Francis:
•Fixated on their weights, to a point that photos were taken of players in their sports bras and Spandex to chart body changes and that some players developed eating issues.
•Pushed her religious beliefs, insisting players attend church services on trips and showing Christian-based videos on bus rides.
•Engaged in intimidation and emotional abuse, “head games” far beyond common motivational methods used by coaches.
Interim president Betty J. Youngblood also released a statement.
“As soon as allegation of religious discrimination came to light, the university acted swiftly to investigate,” Youngblood said in the advisory. “The university did not tolerate such conduct and will not tolerate such conduct moving forward.”
Seems like a very sticky situation going on in Rochester, Mi. With that being said it does not seem like Francis wants anything from the university but answers. Despite the type of coach she was I think after 16 years that is the least they can do for her.