JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Patrick Tuia’s daughter played for the Mississippi Valley State University softball team from 2017-2018.
He said he takes responsibility for not speaking up as a parent. He said he’s heard about and seen actions by the Mississippi Valley softball coaches that he knew were wrong.
He feels he failed his daughter and her softball teammates, as he expressed in a post on Twitter .
Multiple players have shared their stories on social media saying the treatment from Coach Lee Smith and Brittany Tillery led some players to depression and suicidal thoughts.
Tuia’s daughter said the coaches would say verbally abusive things to them often.
Tuia said one of the worst things he saw was when players weren’t allowed to talk to their parents after a game. He said when he tried to approach his daughter, she would look at him, “Like no, don’t come because she knows there’s a repercussion,” if players talked to their parents.
Tuia is proud of the girls for speaking out but apologize to them for not speaking up sooner.
And according to the university’s coordinator of athletic media and public relations, all these allegations are under investigation.