Utah Tech women’s basketball coach faces investigation amid allegations

Utah Tech’s women’s basketball head coach J.D. Gustin is under investigation for allegations made against him of bullying and humiliating players. Pictured is the head coach and some players at a game from last season. Miki Akiyama file photo | Sun News Daily

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Utah Tech University is currently investigating allegations made by current and past players against women’s head basketball coach J.D. Gustin.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 women accused Gustin of bullying, intimidation and retaliation.

In interviews with the Tribune, the players said, “Gustin used obscenities while insulting them, humiliated them in front of teammates, gave the silent treatment to some, and threatened to revoke scholarships.”

They also accused Gustin of disruptive behavior during practices, including throwing objects and making inappropriate comments about their bodies and sex lives.

Although the university’s student-athlete handbook explicitly bans the use of foul language and throwing objects by Utah Tech athletes, the university’s Athletics Policies and Procedures Manual is less specific regarding the code of conduct expected of coaches. It simply states that coaches should show respect for student-athletes and refrain from any form of exploitation, harassment or discriminatory treatment.

A statement issued Sept. 13 by Utah Tech said they take all reported allegations seriously.

“Upon learning of the allegations, the university has been working decisively to address them in accordance with our university’s values and policies to ensure they have been upheld,” the statement read.

Utah Tech also asks that “all the parties involved respect the process and the integrity of the ongoing investigation.”

Gustin, who is entering his eighth season of coaching at Utah Tech, is not the only coach to be under investigation in the state of Utah this month. The University of Utah has recently initiated an investigation into its gymnastics program and head coach Tom Farden.

In an attempt to interview Executive Director of Athletics Ken Beazer, Steve Johnson, the associate athletic director of media relations, said, “Until this investigation has been completed and this process has come to a conclusion, we are not granting any media interviews.”

The women’s 2023-2024 basketball season is scheduled to begin Nov. 9 with their first game taking place at home.

It is unclear how this ongoing investigation will be conducted or how the upcoming season will be affected. Additional information on the specific details and procedures of the investigation remains undisclosed at this time.

This is a developing story. Sun News Daily will update this article with more information as it becomes available. Additional reporting by Angel Wood and Zoe Hansen.