Head coach Sheryl Swoopes made her first public comments Thursday morning since allegations of player mistreatment in Loyola’s women’s basketball program surfaced almost eight weeks ago.
Swoopes released a statement denying the allegations, calling them “reckless reports” and “false attacks” on her character.
The statement, released by PPM Agency — a talent management agency based out of Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta — promises Swoopes will be addressing the reports soon.
Swoopes said she believes she’s committed no wrongdoing in her three years as head coach of Loyola’s women’s basketball team.
“I stand proudly in my values, actions and intent of representing the best interests for students as athletes, but more importantly, as individuals,” said Swoopes. “There is nothing in my behavior, past nor present, as a coach or professional that reflects anything other than structure, encouragement and respect for others.”
Swoopes is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time WNBA champion. She was also honored as WNBA MVP three times, the most in the league’s 19 seasons. On April 4, Swoopes was elected to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, along with NBA greats Yao Ming, Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson.
Swoopes had no prior head coaching experience before coming to Loyola. The only coaching experience on her resume was assistant coaching Mercer Island High School girls’ basketball in 2010.
Read the full statement here.