Ball State University is investigating the source of notes with racist language found in the offices of men’s basketball coach Ronny Thompson and his staff.
The notes included copies of articles from the student newspaper about the school’s findings that Thompson, a former assistant coach at Arkansas and son of former Georgetown coach John Thompson, and his staff broke NCAA rules in May by being at voluntary offseason team workouts and then lied about their involvement.
Thompson was named Ball State’s coach in April 2006. The Cardinals finished 9-22 during his first season.
Notes were slipped under the office doors of Thompson and other staff members over the weekend. They included racial slurs along with “cheaters” and “liars,” school officials said.
“There were some harassing and racial comments that were on the sheets that were deplorable,” athletic director Tom Collins said.
University spokesman Tony Proudfoot told The Associated Press on Thursday that Thompson was on vacation and unreachable.
Campus police were investigating how the notes were put inside the offices, Collins said. They were found inside an area that is normally locked.
“There was no visual sign of breaking and entering, so we don’t know if the door wasn’t locked or if somebody actually did get in with a key,” Collins said.
Ball State previously admitted NCAA rules violations by Thompson and his staff during the summer of 2006, when the coaches improperly monitored players during open gyms and weight room sessions.
School officials on Wednesday announced that two counseling psychology professors would interview coaches, athletes and others in the athletic office to determine whether there are racial tensions within the department or on campus.
Proudfoot said no assumptions were being made on whether the notes came from within or outside the athletic department.
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