Skip to main content

WNBA Legend Accused Of Despicable Behavior By Former Players

Former USC Trojans head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke at a press conference at UCLA.

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke of the USC Trojans speaks to the media during the post-game press conference after the game against the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion on December 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)

Warning: This story includes graphic, sexual language.

During her final season as head coach of the Texas Southern women's basketball program, WNBA legend Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was accused of "inappropriate, demeaning and degrading" behavior by multiple players.

Midway through the 2021-22 season, a Title IX investigation prevented Cooper-Dyke from having any in-person contact or communication with her players outside of practices or games. The school announced her retirement after the season came to a close.

Chantel Jennings and Dana O'Neil of The Athletic released a report highlighting this disturbing alleged behavior on Thursday.

Cooper-Dyke allegedly used "overt sexual language with her players, in ways that many found to be inappropriate, demeaning and degrading," per The Athletic.

Former Texas Southern players shared some examples of this inappropriate language.

"No, she will be all right, she just needs some dick, that’s all," Cooper-Dyke allegedly said when told about one of her players suffering with depression.

"You got a fat ass and I can tell you like to ride some dick," she allegedly said to one of her players who was doing squats.

Other former players from her previous stints at UNC-Wilmington and USC corroborated these reports.

"This is a woman who demeaned us, who talked to us like we were not human," former USC player Thaddesia Southall said. "She made me hate basketball, and no one did anything to stop her."

"This woman mentally and emotionally terrorized us," another former Trojans player said.

Cooper-Dyke denied these allegations in a text message to The Athletic:

"Throughout my years as a coach, I’ve had countless interactions with players in my role as their coach, mentor and friend. I had positive relationships with the majority of players and staff, and my only intention was to maximize players’ potential and help them be their best. While these allegations are untrue, everyone deserves to work, play and learn in a respectful environment, and I deeply apologize for and regret any words used during the course of a spirited game or practice that offended or hurt someone.”