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Did a State Champion Basketball Coach Groom Players?

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article explores the case of Mark Myers, a high school basketball coach in Texas who was accused of sexually harassing and grooming multiple female players over the course of his decades-long coaching career. The article details the experiences of two former players, Anna Albright and Samantha Reichardt, who reported Myers' inappropriate behavior in the 1990s, as well as the story of a more recent player, Monica Fineman, who also accused Myers of misconduct. The article examines how Myers was able to continue coaching despite the allegations against him, and the challenges in holding him accountable within the loosely regulated club basketball system.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Anna Albright's Experience

1. What were the key allegations made by Anna Albright against her former coach Mark Myers?

  • Albright said Myers would make inappropriate comments to her, such as suggesting they could have a romantic relationship if he was younger, and that he was attracted to her since she was 14 years old.
  • Albright said Myers would get angry and yell at her over minor issues, and that he once claimed to have hidden in the bushes outside her house to watch her.
  • Albright said Myers massaged her leg in the training room and then suggested they "up it next time" to see what would happen.

2. How did Albright's teammates and the school community respond when she reported Myers' behavior?

  • Albright's teammates and their parents accused her of trying to sabotage Myers because she was unsatisfied with her playing time.
  • Albright received an anonymous letter outlining her supposed misbehaviors, like drinking and going on an overnight trip, in an apparent attempt to discredit her.
  • The school investigated the allegations, and Myers resigned before the investigation was complete, believing he would be fired.

[02] Samantha Reichardt's Experience

1. What were the key allegations made by Samantha Reichardt against her former coach Mark Myers?

  • Reichardt said Myers told her he was attracted to her since she was 12 years old, the year she joined the basketball program.
  • Reichardt said Myers would make inappropriate comments and gestures, like adjusting the rearview mirror to watch the players changing in the team vehicle.
  • Reichardt said after her senior season, Myers pulled her aside and confessed his romantic feelings for her, kissed her, and began a months-long inappropriate relationship.

2. How did Reichardt's experience impact her after high school?

  • Reichardt said she struggled to process what had happened, with her grades declining and her being admitted to the hospital multiple times for alcohol poisoning.
  • Reichardt said she shut out everyone from her high school, too ashamed to share the cause of her suffering.

[03] Monica Fineman's Experience

1. What were the allegations made by Monica Fineman against Mark Myers?

  • Fineman said Myers asked her to try on a face mask as a "punishment", instructing her to remove her sports bra so he could see how it looked.
  • Fineman said Myers asked probing questions about her sports bra and why girls wear push-up bras.
  • Fineman said Myers told her that if anyone found out about the incident, it would be because she told them.

2. How did the school administration respond to Fineman's allegations?

  • After Fineman told her parents, she and her mother met with school administrators, including the principal and a law enforcement official.
  • Fineman wrote down what Myers had asked her to do, and three and a half weeks later, Myers was arrested on two charges of official oppression.

[04] Myers' Continued Coaching and Accountability

1. How was Myers able to continue coaching despite the allegations against him?

  • After leaving Waco Vanguard, Myers was able to get coaching jobs at several other schools, with no indication that the previous allegations followed him.
  • Schools are often reluctant to report misconduct by former employees to future employers, due to concerns about potential lawsuits.
  • In the loosely regulated club basketball scene, Myers was able to continue coaching his club team, Phoenix Select, even after his arrest and suspension by USA Basketball.

2. What efforts have Albright and Reichardt made to hold Myers accountable and prevent him from continuing to coach?

  • Albright and Reichardt have contacted the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which suspended Myers' coaching license.
  • They have also reached out to tournament organizers hosting Myers' club team to inform them of his arrest and suspension.
  • However, Myers has still been seen coaching on the sidelines at some tournaments, as there are limited ways to enforce the suspension in the club basketball system.
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