After being accused of abusive behavior by a senior member of the team, some players are rallying to the defense of Northern Kentucky women’s basketball coach Camryn Whitaker.
In a letter published on The Odyssey Online signed by eight current members of the team, the hardships the team endured were described as standard for Division I athletes, as opposed to rising to the level of abuse as alleged by Taryn Taugher in an editorial published on the same site last week.
“We respect and value the fact that every individual has the right to voice their opinions based on their personal experiences,” the letter reads. “In support of our coach and program, we believe it is important to share our experience regarding these recent allegations.”
The letter goes on to describe the demands placed on collegiate student-athletes, from workout sessions to course work, which the letter says “can be overwhelming at times.”
“Every single individual on this team has struggled in some way due to the high demand of collegiate athletics,” the letter reads. “We dare say that every Division I athlete has faced similar struggles in managing these demands … The demands and hardships are not and have not exceeded the expected amount.”
Taugher’s letter in which she alleged abuse by Whitaker claimed that the coach used tactics that would intimidate, isolate and humiliate players. Tauger said that when complaints were raised with the athletic director and Title IX director, “everything seemed to be swept under the rug to protect the coach and the university.”
NKU released a statement when the allegations first arose, saying that the athletics department would monitor and assess its programs and take “appropriate corrective actions as needed.”
Whitaker has not responded to the allegations herself.