Four former, current UMass men’s basketball coaches cited in civil lawsuit
A woman is seeking cash compensation in damages from University of Massachusetts men’s basketball assistant coach Lou Roe, along with current and former members of the coaching staff, including recently fired head coach Derek Kellogg, according to a civil lawsuit filed Dec. 6 in Massachusetts U.S. District Court.
The victim alleges that Roe, current assistant coach Shyrone Chatman and former strength coach Richard Hogans deprived her of her civil rights, intimidated and falsely imprisoned her during a 2013 incident in a team facility.
The suit states that Kellogg was not present at the time of the incident.
The victim is seeking $75,000 in damages, according to a report from MassLive.
The lawsuit states the incident occurred on Dec. 7, 2013 at the Mullins Center following a UMass basketball game that was played at a neutral location in Springfield. The suit alleges the victim and her son were having a conversation with Roe in a team office with Chatman also in the room.
The lawsuit alleges that the victim and her son attempted to leave the room “fearing Roe’s temper,” however Chatman blocked the two from leaving the room saying, “there were things they needed to discuss now,” according to the suit.
Roe and Chatman allegedly told the victim she could not talk about the drug use or domestic violence by team members or staff. The lawsuit states Roe previously told the victim “about the use of banned substance by team members; domestic violence by certain staff members against family members; incidents of infidelity and quashing of potential criminal complains against unidentified team members.”
The suit alleges that Roe called Hogans, who appeared during the incident, where he was “outside the room by the door.” The victim alleges Roe, Chatman and Hogans from preventing her from leaving the room as “three large men surrounded her and blocked the exit,” according to the lawsuit.
The victim and Roe were in a relationship prior to the incident, according to the suit.
The lawsuit also states the victim alleged that Roe had previously subjected her to domestic violence prior to the incident, stating “Roe struck [the victim] in the head, ripped her T-shirt, and fisted her abdomen.” The suit also alleges that the victim was pregnant with Roe’s child at the time of the domestic violence.
Although not present at the time of the incident, Kellogg later allegedly “called a meeting of the entire staff and told them that nothing would be permitted to get out.” The lawsuit alleges “Kellogg encouraged and participated in a cover-up of the incident with the intention of preventing [the victim] from disclosing information of public interest concerning the men’s basketball team, its players and its staff.”
A UMass spokesperson confirmed the University was aware of the allegations, but declined to comment further.
Roe, who played at UMass from 1991-95 and was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year in 1995, has been with the program as an assistant since 2012. He currently is listed as the assistant director of basketball operations and has been on paid administrative leave since December.
Both Roe and Chatman are considered University employees. Hogans was the team’s strength coach from 2012 until 2014.
The spokesperson also stated Athletic Director Ryan Bamford’s decision to fire Kellogg, which happened Thursday night, was not linked to the lawsuit.
Calls to Roe’s attorney were not answered. The victim’s lawyer, Harry Miles, had no additional comments in an email to the Massachusetts Daily Collegian Sunday evening.
The victim is seeking a trial by jury, and will be presided over by U.S. magistrate judge Katherine A. Robertson, according to the MassLive report.
Andrew Cyr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.