Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Guru Special Report: Bullying Charges Lead to Kelly Greenberg's Exit at Boston Universtiy

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA --
Kelly Greenberg, a former La Salle women's basketball star who went on to coach Penn to the Quakers' two previous Ivy titles prior to this past season, is out at Boston U., following an investigation by school officials into charges of bullying by four Terriers, two sources familiar with the Boston U. ouster confirmed Tuesday night.

The sources informed the Guru at a time he was off the grid from technology so the information became more concrete while he was playing catch-up.

ESPN's Kate Fagan also reported Greenberg's exit, citing multiple sources which the Guru is sure were not duplicates of his, prior to her updated report later in the evening.

The Boston Globe also reported Greenberg's departure saying four scholarship players quit the team last year because Greenberg emotionally abused them.

The Globe also reported Greenberg began telling supporters Tuesday night while the Guru received a short text from the Boston U. coach, who is not related, referring to the situation as "a sad time" and then followed by declining to make any further comment on the record or off..

Eventually, a statement of resignation by Greenberg was issued through a school spokesperson, though a source familiar with the decision said Greenberg's move was requested by school officials, which she seems to indicate in her statement that the move was not her choice.

"I have determined that it is in the best interest of the university, the women's basketball program and myself for me to resign my position as head women's basketball coach," Greenberg said. "I do not agree with some of the findings of the review panel regarding my coaching style, which was intended to produce well-rounded athletes and a winning team. However, given all that has transpired, I do not believe it will be possible for me to continue as an effective coach at Boston University."

Greenberg had been with the Terriers for a decade through this past season, building them into a contender in the America East for the first nine seasons before the school switched conference affiliations to the Patriot League this past season.

A member of the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame, Greenberg, 46, also worked similar magic at Penn after taking the job in the spring of 1999 and guided the Quakers to titles in 2001 and 2004 before making the move to Boston.

Her record at BU was 186-127 in that span.

On March 8 near the end of what had been a rebuilding season at 13-20 on a current contract through 2017, the accusations became public and they followed two previous player charges made in 2007-08.

Officials, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday night, immediately formed a panel last month to look into the recent allegations when they were made public.

In launching the investigation, Todd Kipp, the Terriers' senior vice president, senior counsel and Board of Trustees secretary, promised in a statement on the school website findings would be sought "... promptly, thoroughly, and in an unbiased manner."

Klipp, in a statement on the school website at BU Today, said Tuesday night in announcing the resignation combined with the Bu Today report:

Although the review panel found that many of the complaints raised by the four players could not be substantiated, “a compelling case was made, based on interviews with the team as a whole, that the manner in which Coach Greenberg interacted with many of her players was incompatible with the expectations and standards for University employees, including our coaches.”

Klipp adds that “when we shared these conclusions with Coach Greenberg, she determined that it would not be possible for her to continue coaching at Boston University.”

The school announced the usual nationwide search for a successor to replace Greenberg will begin, a stock sentence that could be found in many other places this time of year when coaches depart for positive or negative reasons.

When the charges, first reported in the Boston Globe, came to light, two factions emerged either backing the charges or backing Greenberg's leadership.

A website in support of Greenberg Therealkellygreenberg.wordpress.com emerged soon after back-to-back reports by the Globe's March 8 edition first raising the charges and then the next day on March 9 informed readers that players and alumni were rallying to support Greenberg.

Greenberg starred at Archbishop Wood in lower Bucks County outside Philadelphia, where she was a teammate in the late 1980s in some of those years with Debbie Black, the former ABL and WNBA All-Star out of Saint Joseph's who just finished her first season as a head coach, hired a year ago at Eastern Illinois.

At La Salle, Greenberg was a teammate of Cheryl Reeve, the WNBA Minnesota Lynx coach out of South Jersey who has guided her squad to two league titles and three straight finals appearances.

Greenberg's senior season in 1989 saw the Explorers go 28-3, get nationally-ranked and appear in the NCAA tournament.

In the opening round, Greenberg's team ousted Geno Auriemma's first Connecticut NCAA squad on the road in the Huskies' gym and moved on to visit Tennessee in Knoxville.

Six years later UConn finally got to play Tennessee, hosting the Lady Vols during the 1995 season where the Huskies won and went to No. 1 in the polls the first time.

The two teams met again in the NCAA title game with the Huskies winning their first national title and finishing the first of what is now five unbeaten seasons.

Greenberg was inducted into the Big Five Hall of Fame in 2012 and in joining her previously inducted brother Chip, who starred for the La Salle men, the duo became the Hall's first brother-sister inductees.

Going into coaching, the next season after her graduation, Greenberg was an aide at Northeastern University, also in Boston.

She then became a volunteer assistant the next season in 1990-91 to Father Judge grad Joe McKeown, then at George Washington before his 2008 move to Northwestern. Greenberg then moved on to a season as an aide at Rhode Island.

She was next an aide for seven seasons through 1999 to Bill Gibbons at Holy Cross before taking the Penn job where in her second season she led the Quakers to their first Ivy title with a 22-win season record at Penn.

That performance at Penn was not matched until this year when the Quakers won at Princeton the final night of the regular season to dethrone the defending four-time champion Tigers.

That's it for now.

-- Mel





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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