BYU men’s tennis team raises concerns about head coach
UPDATE: The Daily Universe received a video confirming a quote from a Salt Lake Tribune article alleging BYU men’s tennis coach Dave Porter told a player they looked like they “found out someone had raped and killed (their) mother” after losing a point. The video is embedded below.
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe responded to The Daily Universe Wednesday on “issues being voiced” by the men’s tennis team about the conduct of head coach and BYU tennis director Dave Porter.
“We are aware of the issues being voiced currently within our men’s tennis program and are addressing these issues internally, while continuing to have dialogue with our players and coaches at this time,” Holmoe said. “The welfare of our student-athletes is our No. 1 priority, and we are committed to addressing these issues and providing safe environments for everyone.”
The issues were first made public in a story in the Salt Lake Tribune Wednesday, which cites a letter written by members of the BYU men’s tennis team, including a “team leader,” that was sent to BYU Dean of Students Sarah Westerberg on Feb. 15 after they felt their concerns were not being addressed by the BYU athletic administration.
The letter, according to the Tribune, mentions instances of verbal abuse by Porter, including inappropriate language, threats to kick players off the team and mocking student-athletes’ academic performance, among others.
The Daily Universe reached out to BYU Athletics to speak to the players about the concerns but was told by BYU associate athletic director Jon McBride, who is over communications and media strategy, that there are no plans to make them available for comment at this time.
“The main focus right now is the internal conversations that continue to take place between players, coaches and athletic administration,” McBride said. “Some good conversations are definitely happening.”