Brittany Brewer, Unique to USA TODAY Sports
Released 1: 31 p.m. ET Aug. 16, 2020| Upgraded 2: 22 p.m. ET Aug. 16, 2020
SportsPulse: Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt talked with press reporters Friday to talk about the school’s next steps after firing ladies’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings.
Editor’s note: Former Texas Tech ladies’s basketball gamer Brittany Brewer, now with the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA, penned this letter to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal to deal with current player allegations of abuse by coaches within the program. These are the very first public remarks Maker has made on the subject.
Texas Tech fired coach Marlene Stollings on Aug. 6, a day after USA TODAY Sports’ examination detailing gamers’ accusations of abuse by Stollings, strength and conditioning coach Ralph Petrella and assistant coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins. Petrella, who rejects any misconduct, resigned in March after the conclusion of the season. Lowry Dawkins was fired Aug. 7
Here is Brewer’s letter in part:
Dear Red Raider Country,
This year has actually been a rough one for all of us. For the athletes, fans, faculty, staff, student-body, and coaches, for everybody. The previous week has been no exception.
With the uncovering of a great deal of discomfort and abuse within the Girl Raider basketball program, some of you were heartbroken, some were in rejection, however everyone was surprised. To those of you who empathized with us, thank you for acknowledging the severity of what we went through and supporting us. To those of you who could not believe this circumstance was real, I understand. It is difficult to think of that the important things shared taken place, that they remained hidden for so long. But they did occur, to my colleagues, to me.
Whatever you read held true.
In fact, there was a lot more that happened, however the majority of my teammates wanted to stay anonymous. I wanted to stay confidential, due to the fact that I did not desire it to impact my future. But as I am sitting here composing this, I understand how unreasonable my thinking is: why should I fear for my future, simply because I am sharing the truth of the trauma me and my colleagues went through?
For most of us, including me, it was difficult to relive our experience. Simply getting up that day and reading what my teammates went through in writing was a fight in itself, and I already understood all that was shared.
I endured it with them.
For those of you asking why this simply came to light, or why you had no concept, I want you to know it is not your fault. It was not public knowledge. We were horrified of retaliation.
We did not rely on a lot of people.
As the team captain, I had no idea how to handle what was taking place. My colleagues were hardly making it, and I was simply trying to find some silver lining in order to show up at practice the next day and play the game that I love. I was trying so difficult to be the leader my coaches desired me to be, which I understood was not right and was not who I am. I was strolling on eggshells trying to please them, while trying to support my colleagues, however likewise while trying to summon up my own strength not to quit.
A great deal of my colleagues moved and I fully supported their choices. I wanted to entrust them. Truthfully, I was jealous they were getting out of the scenario while I was still there; however, I understood the Lord was telling me to remain. I have actually seen a lot of the reasons that He still wanted me there, and I know there are still more to be revealed.
However it does not alter the reality that, pardon my language, it sucked.
I am still handling the after-effects of being in such a poisonous environment. I am still recovering from it all and rewiring my idea procedures. My colleagues who shared their stories are not soft, they are not the product of involvement trophies and neither am I.
There is presently a really blurred line between tough training and abuse. I have had very hard coaches who have actually required a lot of me, however they never belittled me or used fear as their main inspiring representative.
I took a look at every angle when I was specifying what we were experiencing. I tried to justify it, but I could not and I still can’t: What we went through was abuse.
All of this being stated, I am still grateful to Texas Tech University for my education and for bringing me lifelong sis in my colleagues. This scenario was a huge mess up, however I do not think it defines the experience of a lot of student-athletes that have actually selected to be Red Raiders.
Many of my buddies and fellow athletes liked their time at Texas Tech, and while I can not say the exact same, I can see why. What I will say however is that no terrific feature or new facility outweighs the effect of a coach.
Coaches make or break a student-athlete’s experience.
With this being stated, I implore our administration to take care of my colleagues who are still at the university. Listen to them. Their experience can still be redeemed, and they deserve it.