Oregon State volleyball coach retiring after troubled tenure

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Oregon State volleyball coach Mark Barnard will retire on the finish of the season, closing a tenure marked by frequent roster turnover, participant allegations of emotional abuse and the college’s long-running lawsuit towards The Related Press to withhold data concerning the athletic division’s response to complaints.

Barnard is 70-131 over almost seven years as head coach, together with 7-19 within the 2022 season, which ends Nov. 25. He took the Beavers to the NCAA Event in 2017, the place they misplaced within the first spherical.

Beginning in July 2020, the AP ran tales documenting greater than a dozen gamers who had both stop or transferred from Barnard’s program since he took over in 2016. Three group members mentioned they’d contemplated taking their lives throughout that span.

One story included allegations from gamers who mentioned the coach had pitted gamers towards one another in group conferences, threatened to revoke scholarships for struggling gamers and pushed group members previous well being warnings in follow as punishment. A follow-up story advised of a participant whose scholarship was shopped round not lengthy after she considered taking her life.

“The earlier you progress on, the higher,” Barnard advised that participant, Kyla Waters, in a dialog she recorded and supplied to the AP. Waiters mentioned when she met with the coach, her arms and wrists had been scarred from a reducing behavior she mentioned she’d developed as a result of stress.

Oregon State has disputed the AP reporting, saying scholarship commitments from the volleyball program have been honored and that the characterizations of pushing gamers previous their bodily limits are unfaithful.

Requested this week for remark concerning the allegations, the college referred to a brief launch on its web site asserting Barnard’s retirement.

“All of us at Oregon State thank Mark Barnard for his long-time dedication to our athletic division, the volleyball program and the student-athletes he coached whereas in Corvallis,” athletic director Scott Barnes mentioned within the launch.

The AP has sought paperwork regarding investigations into Barnard’s program, and initially acquired a good opinion from the native district legal professional, who serves as the primary arbiter of such requests in Oregon.

However the college didn’t adjust to that call, as a substitute selecting to take the case to state district courtroom, the place a sequence of authorized motions have saved the paperwork from public disclosure for greater than two years for the reason that authentic request.

Concerning the lawsuit, Oregon State spokesman Steve Clark mentioned that the AP’s “calls for for OSU to launch details about an investigation and its complainants and witnesses, would have a chilling impact and doubtlessly stymie individuals with considerations from ever reporting allegations of wrongdoing.”

The AP has argued that launch of the athletic division’s data “relating to complaints about or investigations into Mark Barnard’s conduct as volleyball coach” are within the public curiosity. It has not sought names of the gamers concerned.

The Oregon State launch about Barnard’s retirement didn’t point out of the investigations into this system throughout his tenure.

“We’re very grateful that we had been capable of increase our household in such a beautiful city and can at all times take into account this our dwelling,” Barnard mentioned within the launch. “I’m excited to spend extra time in our actual property enterprise and journey.”

In a Fb put up, Barnes’ spouse, Louise, congratulated her husband on his profession and mentioned “I really like that so many athletes & coaches have change into a part of our household.”


AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/hub/sports activities and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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