CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois gave a nearly $48,500 payout to a former assistant women's basketball coach who left amid accusations that he mistreated players, a newspaper reported Saturday.
The News-Gazette in Champaign (http://bit.ly/1MVcyz8 ) used a Freedom of Information Act request to compel the university to release details of its confidential separation agreement with Mike Divilbiss.
Divilbiss signed the agreement May 18, stating that he was leaving voluntarily because it was "in his own best interests." The deal gave him a lump sum equivalent to three months' salary and health insurance costs.
Parents of former players alleged in April that Divilbiss and the head coach verbally abused players and created racial tension on the team. In letters to university officials, they also said several players were pressured to play while suffering illnesses and injuries.
The university has said its own inquiry found no violations of laws, NCAA rules or university policies. It has asked two outside law firms to review the allegations. The university is also dealing with allegations that Illinois football staff mistreated several former players.
Without explaining the reasons for Divilbiss' departure, the university has said it was by mutual agreement. On Friday, spokeswoman Robin Kaler told the News-Gazette it was unrelated to the allegations.
"It was just over different philosophical approaches" between coaches, she said.
A public records listing for Divilbiss did not include a phone number, and The Associated Press could not reach him for comment Saturday. He has not made any public statements about the allegations since they surfaced.
Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com