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Former Auburn head softball coach Clint Myers left the program in August; however, the controversy continues to swirl around the coach and the school’s handling and investigation of complaints from players. Myers’ resignation was triggered over his son and former assistant coach, Corey Myers, who is claimed to have engaged in inappropriate behavior with players.

The elder Myers was even reprimanded in his previous job as head coach at Arizona State University for issues involving Corey as well. Arizona State’s athletic director at the time, Lisa Love, sent a letter to Clint Myers that Corey was not to come onto the field or into the facilities beyond those open to the general public. Corey was also barred from any paid or unpaid role with the women’s softball program as well. This action came despite Clint Myers’ skippering of the Sun Devils to national championships in 2008 and 2011.

At Arizona State, Corey’s involvement was not that of a paid coach, but rather his unauthorized involvement as an unpaid volunteer coach. The team also utilized Corey’s graphic design company for team materials and the elder Myers permitted his son to use the school’s facilities for a “skills academy” that was not authorized by the school.

Clint Meyers’ actions appeared to be those of a father trying to help his son professionally and financially. However, Arizona State’s employment policies prevented Myers from directly hiring his son (Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6-704) while ethics rules would have also prohibited him from contracting services that he also had a personal interest in (The elder Myers was also a part owner of the skills academy.)

As a result, Myers’ actions still had ethical implications as he still sought to advance his son’s career despite the policies of the school against self-dealing. Corey’s presence around the Arizona State team was described in news reports to be “awkward” as well with Clint Myers actively promoting Corey wherever he could and making it uncomfortable for others to question his presence or actions. Those who did speak out were often met with aggressive retorts. While there were do not appear to be specific allegations of sexual impropriety, the situation was reported to the Athletic Department which issued the letter to the senior Myers. Corey was cited by Arizona state for several minor infractions including providing unauthorized coaching and even letting a player live at his house.

Ultimately, Clint Myers left Arizona State in favor of a new opportunity at Auburn in 2013. It is believed that Clint Myers conditioned his acceptance of the new role on his ability to hire Corey as a paid assistant coach on the staff. According to reports, Auburn officials never contacted Arizona State about either Myers and were either unaware or unconcerned about how his program operated with the Sun Devils. Corey was promoted to Associate Head Coach at Auburn in 2016.

In the fall of 2016, Auburn launched an internal investigation into the women’s softball program after several players filed anonymous ethics complaints about Corey and his behavior. That spring, the players presented Clint Myers with text messages and other evidence that Corey was having a sexual relationship with one of the players on the team resulting in morale issues and ethical concerns since he was also a coach and subordinates of the coach. This alone would have raised concerns under Auburn’s own code of conduct. Corey ultimately resigned from his coaching position. This was not before Auburn officials also pressed other members of the team who reported the issue to delete the text messages claiming they violated a team member’s privacy.

Later that spring and at the conclusion of that season, another player, Alexa Nemeth, filed a Title IX complaint for sexual harassment with the university stating the Clint Myers knowingly allowed Corey to pursue relations with multiple members of the team. This initial review led the Title IX office to bar Corey from attending any softball related activities or having contact with any members of the team pending the completion of the investigation.

In August, the university completed its investigation and formally banned Corey from campus as a result. The university’s letter stated:

“We have determined there is sufficient evidence ... to conclude that you violated the policy prohibiting ‘pursuing or engaging in romantic relationships’ with more than one student whom you supervised or taught while you were employed as associate head coach of the softball program... We have considered the nature of the violations, which we found to have occurred with more than one student and over an extended period, and have determined that the appropriate sanction is that you are not eligible for rehire by the university at any time. You are banned from campus property and may not attend any university events. Further, you are forbidden from attending any Auburn University softball-related activities or events, whether on- or off-campus.”

Clint Myers followed this action by abruptly retiring from his position as Auburn’s head softball coach two days later - despite no action from the university against the older Myers.

For Auburn, it was Auburn a shock to the system as the program gained national prominence in under Myers. Myers guided the Tigers to a 205-54-1 record during his tenure and four straight postseason appearances. That streak included including back-to-back trips to the Women's College World Series in 2015 and 2016 and a Super Regional last season in 2017. Myers was named the SEC’s Coach of the Year in 2015 after leading Auburn to its first SEC Tournament championship and its first WCWS appearance.

The case raised several concerns about the school’s handling of Title IX complaints as well as it’s institutional control. It took numerous player complaints before the school investigated allegations and months before action was taken. Clint Myers was seemingly aware of the allegations and made no efforts to curtail Corey’s behavior resulting in what was considered a sexually hostile environment and raised more Title IX concerns. Had Auburn done proper due diligence, they would have uncovered the Arizona State complaints about Corey and Clint Myers’ vehement promotion and defense of his son. Myers’ hire at Auburn should have also raised concerns for if the school knew it was preconditioned on the ability to hire his son as an assist, it should have also raise concerns over Auburn’s own nepotism policies as well and further evidenced a lack of organizational control.

 

 

 

 

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