The Washington Post is raising new concerns about the University of Nebraska’s handling of player complaints against softball coach, Rhonda Revelle.
The players detailed what they said was systematic emotional abuse and a toxic culture on the team that included fat-shaming, verbal abuse, and erratic and harassing behavior by Revelle. In response, Revelle, 57, who has been in charge of the team for 27 years, was placed on paid administrative leave and the school conducted an internal investigation that lasted for weeks.
The allegations prompted a meeting with Athletic Director Bill Moos, during which they shared additional details. Players said Revelle asked them to report to her on each other’s love lives and texted players at all hours of the day and night. In one instance, a player said Revelle texted her nearly 100 times over the course of one afternoon. One recent former player said she suffered an injury during a game, and while lying in bed that night crying in pain, she received harassing text messages from Revelle questioning her injury.
This past Sunday, on the eve of the new school year, Moos announced that Revelle would be reinstated.
At the meeting at which Moos told the team Revelle was being reinstated, players asked for a copy of the investigation report. They later were told by an athletic department official that they could not see it.
Asked this week about these and other specific allegations, the Nebraska athletic department responded with a statement that read: “First and foremost the well-being of our student-athletes will always be the top priority at the University of Nebraska. As previously stated, the concerns brought forward by members of our softball program were taken very seriously. We initiated a comprehensive review, and Coach Revelle and her staff understand the seriousness of the student-athlete concerns. As a result of the issues that were raised we have worked with Coach Revelle to address and alleviate those concerns moving forward. The University cannot comment further on a personnel matter.”
There are no NCAA rules with penalties governing coaches’ behavior and player injuries, only guidelines.
Revelle has coached at Nebraska since 1993. She has compiled 989 wins and led the team to three trips to the Women’s College World Series. She was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010. Nebraska has missed the NCAA tournament each of the past three seasons.