(CBS) The University of Illinois has hired a Chicago law firm to independently investigate claims of player mistreatment in the women’s basketball program, the Champaign News-Gazette reported Tuesday.
The purpose of this investigation to be handled by Pugh, Jones and Johnson is to check the findings of the university’s initial internal investigation that found that no university policy or laws had been violated, the News-Gazette reported. This move comes after the university has been heavily criticized for the initial investigation, including the families of seven former women’s basketball players expressing their displeasure over the way it was conducted and handled.
The families of several former players have brought up claims of emotional abuse, racism and mistreatment of injuries by head coach Matt Bollant and assistant coach Mike Divilbiss, who has since left the university. Bollant hasn’t been disciplined or publicly commented since the allegations came to light.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas has emphasized he holds coaches to the highest of ethical standards and that everyone should refrain from a rush to judgment.
The allegations of abuse in the women’s basketball program comes at the same time that former three-year starting offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic has alleged mistreatment by the football coaching staff led by Tim Beckman.
Another firm, Franczek Radelet, continues to separately investigate claims of medical mistreatment by a women’s basketball player and Cvijanovic.