Boise State assistant coach on leave, sued for misconduct
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Officials at Boise State University in Idaho have placed the college’s assistant women’s basketball coach on administrative leave after discovering he faces a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse and harassment of a player at his previous job.
Assistant coach Cody Butler was sued in May by a former women’s basketball player at Yakima Valley College in Washington state, the Idaho Statesman newspaper reported Tuesday.
The woman was not named, but was on the college basketball team from 2001 to 2003.
Butler was a men’s and women’s assistant coach at Yakima Valley from 2000 to 2002, the co-head coach of the women’s team in 2002-03 and the head women’s coach from 2003 to 2012 before taking his current job in Idaho.
“Upon discovery of a lawsuit against assistant coach Cody Butler, Boise State placed him on administrative leave pending university review of the matter,” Boise State University athletic department officials said in a statement.
The lawsuit names Butler, Yakima Valley College and the state of Washington as defendants and lists allegations dating as far back as 2000, officials said.
The lawsuit alleges Butler made comments about the woman’s body and made inappropriate physical contact with her during one-on-one coaching sessions and meetings.
“It’s always alarming to us when we have people in positions of power using their positions to take advantage of those who are not in positions of power,” said Kevin Hastings, who is one of the plaintiff’s attorneys in Washington. “Here it’s a student, it’s a teenage student, and you have someone who’s a coach and who’s the gatekeeper to her success. It is an egregious breach of trust.”
The defendants denied all allegations.
The Washington state attorney general’s office confirmed to the Statesman that it is representing Butler in the case. A request for comment from Butler and his representative were not immediately answered.
A motion to dismiss the case was denied in October. A trial date is set for 2021.