March 25, 2019, Taryn Taugher published an article here on Odyssey detailing claims of emotional abuse from the women's basketball team head coach Camryn Whitaker. She claims her coach would abuse players in private on the "crying couch" in her office and threaten them often. Taugher goes into detail about several personal stories of abuse she has witnessed over the years, from forcing teammates to isolate one player in particular to harassing a student about her Crohn's disease repeatedly. The university is currently still investigating her claims, but the impact of her article has already been seen.
If you haven't already, you can read it here.
It's unfathomable the courage that Taugher must have had to come forward with these allegations, presuming they're true. Not only that, but she and her teammates deserve the utmost respect for continuing the sport that they love while facing the treatment that they did. I hope they don't let the behavior of another stop them from enjoying basketball in the future as they've worked so hard to be where they are now.
Too often we see people in places of power abuse those they are in charge of. From teachers to bosses to coaches, there is a consistent problem with authority figures going too far to get the results that they want. Calling attention to any form of abuse is extremely important in order to protect those who are vulnerable to it.
It takes a lot of bravery to speak up when you feel silenced, which is exactly how Taugher felt. Taugher says in her article, "Northern Kentucky University's athletic department seems to be willing to do anything to silence the multiple emotional abuse allegations." She stood up on behalf of her teammates and used her platform to make real change, projecting her voice so she could no longer be silenced.
We as a society need to constantly be checking those in power which is why we need people like Taugher to stand up for the silent. If you see something, report it.
March 30th, 2019 8 current female basketball players from NKU took to The Odyssey to support their coach. They expressed their belief that "The demands and hardships are not and have not exceeded the expected amount." This is to contradict the previous allegations made by former team members.
An extensive investigation must take place in order to prove if any emotional abuse took place, but this does not negate the importance of this issue that has been brought to light. Justice must be served whether that be punishing Camryn Whitaker or publically clearing her name from these allegations.