PUEBLO – Colorado State University president Tony Frank said Wednesday that the administrative leave men’s basketball coach Larry Eustachy was asked to take is paid, and that he continues to have full faith in the investigation of Eustachy’s program.
Eustachy was placed on administrative leave Saturday after a report by The Denver Post revealed Eustachy told his team last week that Frank said the coach’s job is safe, despite the ongoing investigation. Frank’s office said that the university president did not – and would not – have said that to anyone, including Eustachy.
Details of Eustachy’s leave, other than that the coach cannot contact players or the members of his staff, were not previously known.
Last Wednesday, CSU athletic director Joe Parker publicly acknowledged that he was performing a climate assessment of the men’s basketball program. Team sources, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from Eustachy, said they were interviewed by Parker, deputy athletic director Steve Cottingham and compliance director Shalini Shanker regarding the head coach’s behavior.
In 2014, an internal investigation led by former athletic director Jack Graham discovered Eustachy verbally abused players, threw unopened soda cans and chairs, punted basketballs and punched a whiteboard. Eustachy admitted then that he created a culture of fear and intimidation. At that time, Eustachy was given a zero-tolerance policy regarding that behavior moving forward and that any violation would result in the termination of his contract with cause, negating the buyout (approximately $3 million in 2018) the school would owe him should his contract be terminated without cause.
Former team athletic trainer Mac McDonald (2011-2016) told The Denver Post that he met with Parker in Feb. 2017 to inform the athletic director that Eustachy continued to verbally abuse players during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, which would have been a violation of his employment terms.
Frank, aware of the The Denver Post’s report, said Wednesday that he still has faith in Parker’s investigation and that he will review the findings once it’s complete.