First it was women’s basketball. Then it was softball. The latest, women’s tennis.
For the third time in less than two years, the head coach of a women’s sport at Texas Tech has left the school under the cloud of an investigation and allegations of mistreatment of athletes.
“It’s a disturbing pattern,’’ said Jonathan Katz, a sports psychologist who has worked with professional and college athletes and has served as a sports psychology consultant for the University of Texas men’s and women’s tennis teams. “That’s clear. I don’t think somebody could ignore that.’’
It started with an investigation by USA TODAY Sports and The Intercollegiate in August 2020 that detailed player allegations of abuse by the women’s head basketball coach and her top assistant. Both were promptly fired.
Six weeks later the softball coach resigned under similar circumstances.
Now, nine former tennis players who competed on the team between 2014 and 2021, parents of two players and a former Texas Tech employee familiar with the allegations have talked to USA TODAY Sports about similar allegations of mistreatment by former head women's coach Todd Petty. He resigned in June and denies the allegations.
Katelyn Jackson, who helped lead Texas Tech to four straight Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA tournament from 2015 to 2018, said Petty violated the players’ personal space during outbursts.
“He would come running up in my face and say, ‘What the (expletive) are you doing? Are you (expletive) kidding me?’” Jackson said. “I remember one time he was so close to my face that I snapped back and I was like ‘I’m trying.’ And he was like ‘You’re not (expletive) trying.’ ”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas Tech athletics fallout from USA TODAY investigation continues