Ex-DePaul Softball Coach Allegedly Punched Assistant | Athletic Business

Ex-DePaul Softball Coach Allegedly Punched Assistant

DePaul University is facing allegations of covering up abuse by former softball coach Eugene Lenti.

The Associated Press reported last week that Lenti, who is currently an Auburn assistant coach, punched one of his DePaul assistants in the face and verbally abused his players. The AP cited a lawsuit that was filed in Cook County Circuit court by Jenny Conviser on April 16.

Conviser, who worked with DePaul athletes for 13 years as a mental health doctor, is suing the Chicago, Ill., university for wrongful termination and defaming her reputation. The lawsuit alleges that Lenti wasn’t punished because his sister, Jean Lenti Ponsetto, is DePaul’s athletic director.

DePaul and Auburn representatives told the AP that they have no comment, while the 62-year-old Lenti hung up the phone after saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

According to the Auburn Wire, Conviser said a softball player told her in 2018 that Lenti punched a female assistant coach in the face. The lawsuit said that DePaul’s Title IX investigator disclosed the player’s identity to her teammates, who blamed her for Lenti getting in trouble.

Lenti retired after the 2018 season, then his whole staff was fired and the university severed ties with Conviser, who said she had time remaining on her contract.

Ben Meiselas shared a statement from Conviser, who said “It was my attention to expose a toxic culture at DePaul, a once proud institution in dire need of repair so that the student-athletes are provided a safe environment. The cult of abuse at DePaul that was perpetuated by coaches and enabled by the Director of Athletics must end.”

Lenti, who was hired by Auburn in June 2019, won 1,327 games at DePaul, coaching from 1980-87 and from 1990-2018. He led DePaul to the Women’s College World Series four times and was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

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