Colorado State University has released a 90-page report detailing an investigation into the atmosphere among the men’s basketball team and administration under head coach Larry Eustachy.
Led by former athletic director Jack Graham, former deputy athletic director John Morris and executive associate senior athletic director Steve Cottingham, the investigation included interviews with 14 players as well as athletic department staff members.
Two former team members, J.J. Avila and Octeus, who were interviewed by the Coloradoan, told reporters that Eustachy’s behavior has improved since 2013-2014, saying they did not feel Eustachy was emotionally or verbally abusive.
However, five other players, who did not wish to be named out of fear of retribution, strongly disagreed.
The 2014 report, which covers a university-approved investigation spanning a period of 99 days during the 2013-2014 basketball season, describes an atmosphere of “fear and intimidation” perpetuated by Eustachy.
Graham, Morris and Cottingham documented Eustachy’s outbursts during practices and team meetings, such as throwing unopened soda cans at the walls and punching and breaking dry erase boards in the locker room.
Video evidence of Eustachy’s actions shows him throwing a chair, punting a basketball and regularly berating players. The videos do not include an audio element, as CSU stopped recording audio of practices sometime in the 2012-2013 season.
“If we recorded audio, Eustachy would have been fired a long time ago,” a former player told the Coloradoan. Since the release of the investigation report, Graham has requested that audio recording devices be reinstated.
Eustachy has admitted to cursing and yelling at players and staff, saying that he knows he went “way over the line.” In February of 2014, it was determined that Eustachy should not be alone with his team, and CSU required him to have a staff member present at all times.
Following the investigation, it was the recommendation of Graham, Morris and Cottingham that Eustachy be fired from CSU. So far, CSU has mandated that Eustachy complete six anger management sessions. However, Eustachy remains the head coach, and has been given contract extensions that will keep him Fort Collins through 2021.
“I believed Eustachy should be terminated and believed we had the basis to terminate for cause. I was advised by Tony Frank that we did not have the basis to terminate for cause and that Eustachy was to be placed on a personal improvement plan,” said Graham.
In a statement release by CSU, Eustachy responded to the release of the report, saying, “I am deeply disappointed on a very personal level that someone chose to publicize confidential information from my personnel file. That said, I fully recognize that I’m not perfect. I have my faults and strive every day to be better than I was yesterday.”