Colorado State officials are expected to part with head coach Larry Eustachy after the saga involving his future continued when the team’s players boycotted Thursday’s practice to show displeasure over a lack of communication from the athletic department.
School officials are trying to negotiate a walk-away package for Eustachy and don’t intend to allow him to return as the basketball coach, a source told ESPN on Friday.
The Denver Post reported Thursday that CSU officials intend to fire Eustachy with cause for violating a zero-tolerance policy for abusive behavior with staff and players. The zero-tolerance policy was implemented after an initial internal review of his behavior in 2013-14.
Eustachy was placed on administrative leave last Saturday while the university conducts an investigation regarding his conduct with players and other staff members.
Details have since been kept tight by athletic director Joe Parker and other officials, which prompted the practice boycott by the players.
In a statement released by the school Thursday night, Parker said officials planned to meet with players to discuss the situation.
Parker said the internal review was nearly complete and that CSU officials are scheduled to meet with Eustachy and his representatives early next week.
“Our student athletes have expressed concerns to us and we are working with them to address those concerns,” Parker said in a statement. “Student athlete welfare has always been our top priority. While we are obviously limited in what we can release during an assessment, we will be meeting with our men’s basketball team to update them on the situation.”
The Denver Post reported that Eustachy will be fired as soon as Friday. However, Colorado State president Tony Frank told the Coloradoan of Fort Collins on Thursday that no decision has been made.
Frank said he will determine Eustachy’s future after he reviews the findings.
Eustachy, 62, has three seasons remaining on his contract. Colorado State will owe him nothing if he is fired with cause. Otherwise, the school is on the hook for $2.95 million if it fires Eustachy.
Eustachy was previously investigated four years ago by former athletic director Jack Graham, who concluded in a 90-page report that the coach created a “culture of fear and intimidation” and emotionally abused players.
Graham, who had hired Eustachy in 2012, recommended at the time that the coach be fired for cause. The school instead mandated anger management sessions and an apology to the team while giving Eustachy a zero-tolerance policy concerning his behavior toward players moving forward.
Eustachy had a 121-74 record at Colorado State prior to last Saturday’s game. He also has coached at Idaho, Utah State, Iowa State and Southern Mississippi.
Assistant coach Steve Barnes is currently running the team. The Rams have dropped seven straight games to fall to 10-16 overall and 3-10 in the Mountain West Conference. Colorado State hosts San Jose State on Saturday.
–Field Level Media