Sheryl Swoopes fired as Loyola coach amid allegations

CHICAGO -- Loyola University has fired women's basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes.

The school said in April that it would investigate allegations against Swoopes brought by former players. One former player, Cate Soan, has said Swoopes humiliated her and created a hostile environment.

"Sheryl Swoopes is no longer serving as the women's basketball coach at Loyola University Chicago," athletic director Steve Watson said in a statement issued Sunday. "A search for her replacement will begin immediately. Loyola thanks Sheryl for her service to the women's basketball program."

Swoopes had been at the private Chicago university for three seasons with a record of 31-62. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year. She was the first player signed by the WNBA and won three Olympic gold medals.

Late Sunday night, Swoopes' spokeswoman Kimberly Blackwell released a statement.

"In response to the inquires made about the investigation, Sheryl is comfortable with its outcomes," Blackwell said. "She is disappointed, however, with the actions that have followed. In respect of the holiday, we plan to have Sheryl's voice heard at an appropriate time."

Swoopes issued another statement Tuesday that read:

"Last week I was looking forward to what lied next, right after the holiday. We'd been planning to greet eight of the 12 committed student-athletes to campus today. I've heard people speak of Transformation Tuesday and now I experience it. I'm disappointed that I won't have the opportunity to be there on this Tuesday as 'Coach Swoopes'.

"It's my hope that the student-athletes will be provided a full explanation of what has unfolded. As students, they deserve truth and transparency. All I can say at this point is that I do feel vindicated. I was one hundred percent pleased with what I thought clearly supported all I've ever tried to provide as a coach, an employee and the woman of character my mother has raised."