World News – US – Pat Chambers racked up enough enemies over 9 years at Penn State that they buried him as part of an investigation


Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour announces the resignation of men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers on Wednesday

It was an odd time to fire a basketball coach, in mid-October with a potential season on hold, but apparently set to begin before the end of the year Why would Penn State ask Patrick Chambers to resign now?

The partial answer is that the more you look into Chambers’ behavior with his former players and assistant coaches who came in and out of State College during his nine years, the more people you’ll find willing to do so. speak negatively about their feelings for him

Call it verbal abuse, rule by fear, apprehension of an emotional outburst, what have you done Chambers has racked up enough enemies that when a full internal Penn State investigation was launched last summer and confidentiality was guaranteed, a lot of venom was released on the PSU head coach whose tenure began in 2011

I’ve spoken to a number of former Penn State assistant coaches, players, and their parents since the allegations of racist rhetoric from former PSU goalie Rasir Bolton, now in Iowa State, were published on July 6 And several quoted encounters with Chambers that went beyond any racial component and simply focused on the coach’s trigger temper and arbitrary breakouts that left them filled with contempt

None chose to be identified on paper, generally claiming that they were done with the experience and just wanted to move on with their lives.But in my conversations, two former PSU assistants who worked under Chambers the have independently mentioned with the expletive: « It’s a donkey « 

According to those I spoke with directly and who were interviewed as part of the investigation, the questions revolved around various verbal abuse and questionable comments towards players and coaches, with some examining the racial component and others not

But it didn’t end there Two of those interviewed told me they were asked about the existence of recruitment irregularities by Penn State Both told me they said they didn’t specifically did not know of such irregularities

I asked athletic director Sandy Barbour during her brief videoconference on Wednesday if she could confirm that such violations had been questioned by investigators or whether such revelations were significant in Chambers’ resignation She replied:

« We’re not going to go into specifics, but the NCAA questions were not part of it » It was not clear if she was talking about part of the investigation or part of the decision to request the resignation of the Chambers Barbour only answered six questions and the press conference was abruptly interrupted

Whatever Barbour and PSU President Eric Barron learned from a report submitted to them two weeks ago, it was enough to confront Chambers He officially handed in his resignation and informed his players around 4:30 p.m.m Wednesday, Barbour said

The sources interviewed told me that the investigation was led and the interviews were conducted by Robert Boland, PSU Sports Integrity Officer and PSU Vice President for Affirmative Action Suzanne Adair

There were calls in July and August to former PSU players, some parents and former PSU assistant coaches Boland and Adair asked them a barrage of questions PennLive spoke with several of the interviewees and some sessions lasted almost an hour A former PSU assistant I spoke to said the investigation was so thorough that former team members started contacting him:

« The players called me They dig deep and they call everyone They called anyone and everyone, at the player level »

The investigation began shortly after journalist Jesse Washington posted Bolton’s comments to Disney-owned website The Undefeated for an article published on July 6 In the Washington essay, Bolton said Chambers came to him during a first-year performance slowdown and told him:

« I want to be a pain reliever for you You can talk to me about anything I need to get rid of this pressure I want to loosen the noose around your neck »

These comments had been told to me before but unofficially by Bolton’s dad, Ray, when his son transferred from PSU

Penn State coach Patrick Chambers resigned Wednesday after an internal investigation into, but not limited to, comments insensitive to racism

In a very brief videoconference Tuesday night, Barbour declined to elaborate on exactly what the tipping point was in the report But she admitted that a new charge had been laid that was not previously known:

« The allegation was previously unknown to Penn State and was independent and unrelated to The Undefeated article

Many former Chambers players have tweeted their support for Chambers after Bolton’s story or issued statements of praise But the comment to Bolton resonated with just graduating guard Josh Reaves He recently completed his first professional season between the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA and their agricultural club of the G-League

Reaves left PSU with considerable acrimony towards Chambers and fended off the manager’s attempts to contact him after the end of his final season in 2019 and graduation

He told me in an article also published on July 6 that Chambers had tried to bridge the gap with Bolton at the time by coming to see him Reaves was not receptive:

« I remember when it happened he called me to a meeting with him I don’t know if he was trying to hide it, or what he wanted to do But he called me in his office to ask me, like, to help clarify what he was trying to say And then he just made it worse Because he then told me something that wasn’t that bad, but still bad

« He ended up saying, » That’s not what I meant I tried to say, I wanted to be on the pitch with him « Which really isn’t better because it’s stupid « 

« I guess so I don’t know This is how I understood, how I interpreted it What was wrong This is just wrong »

Those interviewed as part of the PSU investigation told me the general tone of the questions revolved around Chambers’ behavior, language, and any abusive episodes – player-staff incidents that could have happened produce, how players and staff were treated, culture and climate of the program under his orders

Interviews invariably included questions about whether Chambers had used racist-tinged rhetoric They also touched on his behavior during matches, his combustibility at staff meetings, whether he was targeting and declaiming soft-spoken players what if he showed arrogance and a bloated ego suggesting infallibility A former assistant told me that Chambers’ explosive and at times arbitrary behavior alienated some coaches, players and match officials:

« He sometimes faints and yells crazy things during games It’s easy to hate Pat

« We as a staff laugh at some of the things he did but it was nothing fancy »

Chambers was heading into the penultimate year of a signed contract extension after the 2018 NIT Championship which sources said paid him around $ 1million a year with a $ 300,000 buyout, figures from lowest pay of any Big Ten trainer

His 2020 squad was certainly heading to the NCAA tournament for the first time in his tenure at Penn State before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled it

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World News – States United – Pat Chambers racked up enough enemies over 9 years at Penn State that they buried him in an investigation



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