Morgan State University reassigned women's basketball coach Donald Beasley on Saturday after earlier placing him on administrative leave over allegations that he had verbally abused his players.
The school said the 55-year-old Beasley will leave the program July 1 and will take another position at the university. Officials did not specify the new role.
Beasley, who was making $115,000 a year according to the state salary database, finished his 11th year as the program's all-time winningest coach with a 141-191 record. After a player and several parents came forward with the allegations, the school began an investigation.
Edward Davis Jr., a Morgan State assistant coach for the past two years, was named interim head coach by athletic director Floyd Kerr.
“We are extremely grateful to Coach Beasley for what he has been able to achieve with our program,” Kerr said in a written statement. “He is our most successful women's basketball coach and he leaves with our gratitude and best wishes.”
Beasley, who was hired by his alma mater on March 14, 2005, did not return a request for comment. University spokesman Clinton R. Coleman said the school would not comment further on the coaching change.
According to some parents, players who were returning for 2016-17 had discussed the possibility of boycotting the season to protest the alleged treatment.
Forward Simone Sampson, who completed her career with the Bears in March and came forward to talk about her experiences under Beasley, said she was delighted for the program and the teammates she left behind.
“I honestly don't think this was the job for him,” she said. “I hope he's happy with his new position. For the future Lady Bears, I'm happy for them.”
Sampson's father, Eric, said he had “mixed emotions” about the news.
“I wish the university had looked into it while she was there,” he said. “I wish someone had stepped up while she was there. So I'm sad about that.”
Sampson criticized the school for not acting sooner when he said he and several other parents had informed officials about Beasley's alleged behavior.
Cynthia Buie, the mother of a player who she asked not be named, was at first pleased to hear about the decision. But she was not satisfied after learning that Beasley will continue to be employed by the university.
“It is unclear to me what a reassignment means in this situation or whether this will give him any type of contact or communication with the athletes,” she said. “Given the negative impact and how this has really affected these young ladies, I would certainly hope not.”
Since the news Wednesday that Beasley had been placed on administrative leave, several of Beasley's former players defended the coach. They acknowledged that he sometimes employed “foul language,” but said he also offered encouragement and cared deeply for his players.
In Davis, the Bears promoted a man who had been head coach at Delaware State for 12 years and Bowie State for eight. At Delaware State, Davis compiled a 178-182 record and left as that program's all-time winningest coach.
“It has always been about our student-athletes and the program at Morgan State, and that is why I made this selection,” Kerr said. “I have the utmost confidence in Coach Davis because of what he has been able to accomplish with his past teams.”
Simone Sampson applauded the decision to replace Beasley with Davis.
“I feel like that's a great decision,” she said. “Coach Davis is very knowledgeable about the game and I think he would be excellent for the coaching position.”