Assistant reported coach
Source: LSU was informed in Feb.
Former LSU women's basketball coach Pokey Chatman was not allowed to be alone with her players after an assistant reported alleged improper conduct to the university in February, a school official with direct knowledge of the matter told the Associated Press yesterday.
The university reacted promptly and properly to assistant coach Carla Berry's allegations, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous because it was a personnel matter.
After Chatman abruptly resigned last Wednesday, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported the school's discovery of alleged inappropriate conduct with one or more players led to her resignation.
The LSU official told the AP that it did not appear that Chatman had any improper relations with current players.
Berry and Chatman were teammates at LSU on the 1991 team that won the program's first Southeastern Conference tournament championship.
Berry joined former coach Sue Gunter's staff in 2001 and currently coordinates recruiting and oversees squad academics.
Berry, 37, did not return a call to her office. Yesterday, ESPN.com, citing unidentified university sources, first reported she had made the report to the school.
Assistant coach Bob Starkey has been named the acting head coach and will lead the team into the NCAA Tournament. The No. 12 Lady Tigers are seeded third in the Fresno Regional.
Sylvia Fowles, who has led the Lady Tigers all year with her imposing inside presence, didn't pass when offered a chance to speak her mind on the controversy.
"Pokey's always been a great person, she's like my mom and it's going to stay that way from here on out," Fowles said. "No matter what people say, I'm not going to look at her any different."
Berry remains on the staff and Starkey said he does not expect that to change.
"Coach Berry is very, very well respected by our players, certainly by me, and she'll continue to be a positive part of our program," Starkey said.
Conradt is the second winningest coach in Division 1 college basketball, behind only Tennessee's Pat Summit.
Conradt got her 900th win last Tuesday in the first round of the Big 12 Conference tournament. She had what some considered to be the nation's top recruiting class this season, but injuries, inexperience and immaturity hurt the Longhorns.
Conradt is 900-306 in 38 seasons: four at Sam Houston State, three at Texas-Arlington, and 31 at Texas.