PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The University of Pennsylvania has canceled the remainder of the women’s volleyball season after they say “vulgar, offensive, and disrespectful” posters were found in the locker rooms earlier this week. The decision came as the team was preparing to play its final two games of the season.
One student-athlete says what happened is disheartening and unsettling. Meanwhile, the university said the athletes didn’ live up to the school’s standards.
“There’s questions as to what the program will look like next year. Obviously, it’s been a tumultuous two seasons,” said Theodoros Papazekos, the senior sports editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian, the school’s student-run newspaper.
A tumultuous two seasons for Penn’s women’s volleyball team was capped off by the university canceling its last two games over signs in the team’s locker room.
The school didn’t say what the signs said but called them “vulgar, offensive and disrespectful.”
Papazekos says the trouble started when the school hired head coach Iain Braddak.
“Players reported that they felt uncomfortable, that their mental health was impacted, that they started to lose passion for the game of volleyball,” Papazekos said.
Braddak is the team’s third coach in three years. Papazekos says students filed eight grievances with the athletic department since he was hired. He also says the team’s captain quit last season.
The school’s athletic director said in a statement, “The behavior exhibited by our women’s volleyball student-athletes is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 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 it’s good that they’re doing something about it and not just ignoring this or putting it behind closed doors or something like that,” grad student Jeff McNeill said.
CBS3 reached out to players, the head coach and numerous other officials. They all refused to comment beyond the university’s statement.