Investigation in 2013-14 recommended Colorado State basketball coach Larry Eustachy be fired
Editor's note: Related documents are embedded at the bottom of this story.
CSU men's basketball coach Larry Eustachy created a culture of fear and intimidation and emotionally abused his players, newly obtained records from a 2013-14 university investigation show.
One high-ranking university official recommended Eustachy's contract be terminated.
In a summary of the investigation, Eustachy acknowledged he has told his assistant coaches to "shut the f--- up" and called players "f----g c--ts." He also said he "crossed the line" and later said he went "way over the line" when questioned about whether the atmosphere in his program was one of fear and intimidation.
The CSU investigation included interviews with 14 players and basketball and athletic department staff members, according to documents provided by a source to the Coloradoan. The Coloradoan independently verified facts contained in the documentation.
The university investigation was led by former athletic director Jack Graham, former deputy athletic director John Morris and current executive associate senior athletic director Steve Cottingham and under the consent of Colorado State University president Tony Frank.
"I am deeply disappointed on a very personal level that someone chose to publicize confidential information from my personnel file," Eustachy said in a statement released by the university. "That said, I fully recognize that I'm not perfect. I have my faults and strive every day to be better than I was yesterday."
The Coloradoan spoke with six people interviewed during the investigation and eight players on the 2013-14 team.
The CSU investigation documents the coach's outbursts, including punching and breaking dry erase boards in locker rooms and throwing unopened soda cans against walls. The document is 90 pages and the investigation spanned 99 days during the 2013-14 season.
"I believed Eustachy should be terminated and believed we had the basis to terminate for cause," Graham, who hired Eustachy in 2012, said when reached for comment. "I was advised by Tony Frank that we did not have the basis to terminate for cause and that Eustachy was to be placed on a personal improvement plan."
Graham would not provide additional comment about the investigation.
The president of the university signs off on the termination of all CSU employees.
"Colorado State University is prohibited by law from disclosing personnel information and from commenting on confidential personnel matters, particularly where employees have a legal expectation of privacy." the university statement read. "... The university is committed to the highest standards of integrity, and when any issues have arisen, the university has taken appropriate action to maintain that integrity in our programs and ensure our standards are met. The program review at issue took place several years ago and we stand by the manner in which we dealt with the allegations - then and now. We stand behind, and are proud of, the environment our athletic department and Coach Eustachy have since created for our student-athletes."
Former CSU forward J.J. Avila, who was interviewed in the investigation, told the Coloradoan that Eustachy isn't as hard on the team today as he was in 2013-14. Avila spent this past summer in Fort Collins working out with the current team.
Avila and former point guard Jon Octeus said they did not feel Eustachy emotionally or verbally abused them. They said playing for Eustachy is difficult and some players couldn't handle it. Octeus transferred from CSU following 2013-14 season.