A successful, nationally known men’s basketball coach came under fire in media reports for accusations of physically and mentally abusing players going back several years. The coach’s supporters—including his family, key donors, and alumni—were very adamant in their support, and the situation threatened to divide not only the Athletics Department and supporters but the university as well as its Board. BMCG was hired by the Office of General Counsel to identify all risks associated with the institution’s various strategic options, and develop a robust strategy to mitigate those risks and restore the reputation of the institution.

Actions / Recommendations:

  • Guided leadership team in strategic decision-making process to identify risks, benefits, dependencies and messaging regarding two strategic options: keeping the coach vs. parting ways with coach
  • Developed all communication to support decision and its roll-out, including core messaging/talking points, FAQs and Hard Questions, targeted to key stakeholder groups including board members, faculty, and students


A settlement was reached to end the investigation and allow the coach to resign. The university was able to announce the decision on their terms, control the messaging, and end run internal and external pushback. Their decisive and proactive decision-making enabled a quick pivot to focus on the future of the program which included the hiring of a new coach.