(BOSTON) — Boston University Women’s Basketball coach Kelly Greenberg is facing accusations that she bullied her players, with one former player saying the coach’s style drove her to therapy.
The accusations emerged after four of the team’s 13 members quit during the past year — with two of those athletes giving up $60,000-a-year scholarships. One of the players left the university.
Senior guard Melissa Gallo quit the team at the end of the regular season, fed up with what she calls emotional abuse.
“[Greenberg’s] treatment was very inconsistent,” Gallo told ABC News. “Some days she wouldn’t even acknowledge your existence. She would make you feel so unbelievably invisible, like you weren’t even in the room, like you weren’t a part of the team.”
Gallo says Greenberg’s bullying led her to constantly cry, with the coach calling her “high-maintenance” and “selfish.”
“I had a terrible experience and it made me hate the game that I came into BU loving, and I don’t wish that upon anyone,” Gallo said.
This isn’t the first time Greenberg’s players have cried foul. The university conducted an internal review in 2008 after two scholarship players quit the team after making similar accusations.
USA Today columnist and ABC News consultant Christine Brennan says it’s uncommon to see this many players quitting — and that the university should take the accusations seriously.
“There is a definitive line, and when you cross that line and find that four players can’t take it, four tough, strong athletes can no longer take it…That to me screams out that you have crossed the line,” Brennan said.
Greenberg’s supporters are sticking by her. About 30 demonstrators gathered on campus to support Greenberg Saturday, including current and former players, a team huddling around their coach.
Greenberg has coached at Boston University since 2004, and was named the America East conference’s Coach of the Year in 2009.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Steve Almasy and Keith Allen, CNN
Ivana Kottasova, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN