CHAMPAIGN– Racist taunts and segregated practices are among in the allegations in a $10 million lawsuit involving the women’s basketball program at the University of Illinois.
Seven former players have filed a federal civil rights suit against the school, claiming women’s basketball coach Matt Bollant and former assistant MikeDivilbiss created a racially hostile environment. They allege the coaching staff called African-Americans on the team “west side ghetto” players, and referred to blacks in general as “undisciplined” and “unintelligent.”
Beyond taunts, the suit says the coaches put black and white players in separate hotels. Two of the plaintiffs, Taylor Gleason and Jacqui Grant, are white, and they allege the coaches threatened them for associating with the black players.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas is also named in the suit.
The university, the plaintiffs, and their attorneys declined to comment.
In May, Divilbiss left the program after concerns were raised by parents of players over medical procedures. At the time, the university said it had investigated the claims and found no wrongdoing, but Divilbiss and the school “had agreed to part ways.”