By CHRIS HOBBS
HICKORY — A YouTube video response to accusations of racial problems at Lenoir-Rhyne University by school president Dr. Fred Whitt is posted below.
In it, Whitt mentions last Thursday’s protest by some students/student-athletes and the ongoing investigation prompted by allegations from Laney Fox, a sophomore who remains enrolled at the school.
She played on the women’s basketball as a freshman and opted out last season due to COVID.
Fox (https://www.facebook.com/laney.fox.52) says she remains on scholarship at LRU but was told March 25 she would no longer be on the women’s basketball team.
She alleges she was removed because of bringing some racial concerns within the women’s basketball program — and on campus at LRU in general — to the attention of the coaching staff and the athletic department.
In a transcript Fox has posted on social media, head women’s coach Grahm Smith and an athletic department senior associate athletic director (Aaron Brocks) are heard telling her she was considered “divisive”.
In an initial written response by Whitt, he called her allegations of why she was no longer on the women’s basketball team “false” and indicated the school strongly disagreed with Fox’s version of what happened.
Fox, from Parkland, Fla., has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal after her appeal to be reinstated to the women’s basketball team was denied. She says six players were cut from the team and three more left for similar reasons she brought to the attention of LRU officials.
PRESIDENT WHITT’S VIDEO STATEMENT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBTcUnauRkg
PLAYER SAYS SHE WAS KICKED OFF TEAM: https://hobbsdailyreport.com/lenoir-rhyne-university-womens-basketball/womens-college-basketball-ex-lenoir-rhyne-says-her-concerns-about-racism-got-her-kicked-off-team/
WCNC REPORT ON FOX’S CLAIMS: https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/local/lenoir-rhyne-womens-basketball-player-cut-alleges-racism/275-3f8121a3-1c86-42eb-aa90-cbbaa2374f02