ABC13 confirmed that neither Cooper-Dyke nor her assistant coaches were allowed any contact with players outside of practice or games for the final three weeks of last season — a policy instituted by TSU.
Cooper-Dyke, a four-time WNBA champion with the Houston Comets and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, served twice as a head coach at TSU during its most recent season that ended in March.
In the announcement of the retirement, athletic director Kevin Granger praised the Basketball Hall of Famers.
“Coach Cooper-Dyke has had a tremendous impact on TSU women’s basketball since her arrival, taking the program to new heights,” Granger said. “She will be missed, I wish her nothing but success in her future endeavors.”
However, in response to ABC13’s inquiries, the university says it cannot provide any further details.
“Given the confidential nature of Title IX and personnel matters, Texas Southern University is unable to comment,” it said in a statement to ABC13. “TSU takes seriously all issues affecting the safety and health of our students, faculty and staff to ensure a learning environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”
A former TSU player who wished to remain anonymous told ABC13 she lost her love for basketball while playing for Cooper-Dyke and claimed she was treated like a peasant.
“My experience was similar to everyone else’s,” explained the player. “When I first came to Texas Southern, I thought players were exaggerating when it came to Cynthia’s coaching. When I got my time to play the court I felt like she was all about tearing people down instead of building us up. I lost my love for basketball. She treated my teammates and I like pawns. If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would never choose to play under her.
“She always made sure to let us know that she’s the mastermind,” the player added. “I was shocked at how everything was going because I expected everything to have more structure since she was a Hall of Famer.”
Niya Mitchell, who played for Cooper-Dyke from 2019 to 2022, admits she has thicker skin than most, but she was confused when she read the allegations.
“I never felt like she didn’t get me to play basketball again,” Mitchell recalled. “It was just all from a good place like I’d been there, I did that. I didn’t know half the things some girls go through.”
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https://abc13.com/cynthia-cooper-dyke-texas-southern-university-womens-basketball-collegiate-sports/11821706/ Former Texas Southern basketball players have accused Hall of Fame coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke of abuse