THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s basketball head coach MaChelle Joseph has been dismissed, Georgia Tech athletics announced on Tuesday.
Joseph’s dismissal comes following an independent investigation by Littler Mendelson P.C. Employment and Labor Law Solutions Worldwide. Georgia Tech retained the services of Littler Mendelson on Feb. 25, 2019, after women’s basketball student-athletes brought forward concerns about player and staff mistreatment by Joseph.
Joseph was placed on leave on Feb. 27 while the investigation took place. As part of the investigation, Littler Mendelson completed 40 interviews. Individuals interviewed included Joseph, the team’s 2018-19 assistant coaches, all 13 members of the 2018-19 team, various administrators and support staff, as well as parents of student-athletes.
A final report on the investigation was submitted by Littler Mendelson on March 20. Among the findings were that every student-athlete reported “concerns regarding alleged emotional or mental mistreatment” by Joseph, and that student-athletes described the environment around the team as “toxic,” “suffocating,” “unhealthy” and “hostile” and described Joseph’s conduct as “bullying” and “emotionally, mentally and verbally ‘abusive.’”
Additionally, several student-athletes reported allegations that, if true, may constitute violations of NCAA rules, Littler Mendelson concluded. Georgia Tech has initiated a review of these allegations with the NCAA.
Joseph was given the opportunity to respond to the report. Her response was received on March 25. After reviewing the report and Joseph’s response, Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury made the decision to dismiss Joseph on March 26. Stansbury informed Joseph of the decision during an in-person meeting.
“After learning of the concerns of women’s basketball student-athletes about Coach Joseph’s conduct, Georgia Tech retained the services of Littler Mendelson to conduct an investigation of the allegations,” Stansbury said. “The findings outlined in the report have left us no choice but to dismiss Coach Joseph.
“Student-athlete well-being will always be the top priority of our athletics department,” Stansbury said. “I am disappointed and saddened to learn that the well-being of our student-athletes was being compromised. The findings of the independent investigation make it clear that the dismissal of Coach Joseph is necessary to restore the well-being of student-athletes as the No. 1 priority within our women’s basketball program.”
Georgia Tech will immediately begin a national search for the sixth women’s basketball head coach in program history.