“Disheartening and unsettling,” that’s how one student at the University of Pennsylvania describes what happened there this week.
The volleyball team’s last two games canceled over vulgar signs found in their locker room.
“There are questions as to what the program will look like next year,” said Theodoros Papazekos, senior sports editor of the student-run newspaper the Daily Pennsylvanian. “Obviously, it’s been a tumultuous two seasons.”
The school didn’t say what the signs said but called them vulgar, offensive and disrespectful.
Papazekos said the trouble started when the school hired head coach Iain Braddock.
“Players reported that they felt uncomfortable, that their mental health was impacted, that they started to lose passion for the game of volleyball,” the sports editor said.
Braddock is the team’s third coach in three years.
Papazekos says students filed eight grievances with the athletics department since he was hired and the team’s captain quit last season.
“The behavior exhibited by our women’s volleyball student-athletes is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” read a statement from the student athletic director. “We expect our student-athletes to represent the University of Pennsylvania in a first-class and respectful manner at all times, and in this case, our women’s volleyball student-athletes did not meet that standard.”
“I think its actually good that they’re doing something about it and not just ignoring this or putting it behind closed doors or something like that,” said Jeff McNeill, grad student.