Ex-Texas Southern coach accused of verbally abusing female players  

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who retired in March, reportedly used vulgar and demeaning language with basketball team members.

Loading the player...

The head coach of the women’s basketball team at Texas Southern University retired in March after an investigation into abusive, demeaning language that she allegedly used with her players. 

The Athletic reported last week that since January, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke could not have contact with players or communicate with any “via text, phone, social media or email” as the school conducted “a safety-risk assessment.’’

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who was head coach of the women’s basketball team at Texas Southern University, retired after an investigation into abusive, demeaning language that she allegedly used with her players. (Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

The explosive report found that Cooper-Dyke would make rude comments to the athletes, such as “Ooh, your hips are big, you got a fat a*s, and I can tell you like to ride some d***.” 

She also reportedly called players “retarded,” “Black-a*s child,” “b*tch,” “p***y” and “dumbass.” She allegedly also pressured her team members to resume practice or play after an injury before they were cleared by a doctor. 

TSU athletic director Kevin Granger still praised Cooper-Dyke in announcing her retirement two months ago. “Coach Cooper-Dyke has had a tremendous impact on TSU women’s basketball since her arrival and moved the program to new heights,” he said, according to ABC 13. “She will be missed as I wish her nothing but success in her future endeavors.”

In a text message to the Athletic, Cooper-Dyke said, “While these allegations are untrue, everyone deserves to work, play and learn in a respectful environment, and I deeply apologize for and regret any words used during the course of a spirited game or practice that offended or hurt someone.”

Cooper-Dyke played in the WNBA and won four world championships with the Houston Comets. She was also briefly a sports analyst. Considered one of the greatest female basketball players of all time, she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. She spent two stints at TSU as head coach of the women’s team, from 2012-13 then starting again in 2019, before the controversy at the end of this past season. 

In a statement to the station, the university wrote, “Given the confidential nature of Title IX and personnel matters, Texas Southern University is unable to comment. TSU takes any issues that impact the safety and health of our students, faculty, and staff seriously to ensure a learning environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”

One former women’s basketball player at TSU, who chose to remain anonymous, told ABC 13, “My experience was similar to everyone else’s experience. When I first got to Texas Southern, I thought the players were exaggerating when it came to Cynthia’s coaching. As I got my time to play on the court, it felt like she was all about tearing people down instead of building us up. I lost my love for basketball. She treated my teammates and me like peasants. If I had to go back and do it again, I would never choose to play under her.”

“She always made sure she let us know she was the head b***h in charge,” the player maintained. “I was shocked by how everything was going because I expected everything to have more structure since she was a Hall of Fame player.”

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!

Loading the player...