Evansville places men’s basketball coach Walter McCarty on leave weeks after historic upset

Evansville men’s basketball head coach Walter McCarty, who was at the helm for one of the biggest upsets in the history of college basketball earlier this year, was placed on leave Friday as the school conducts an internal investigation over an alleged Title IX violation.

Evansville said in a statement that McCarty was placed on administrative leave after officials received reports about the coach’s off-court behavior, including a recent Title IX violation. The school said a national law firm will conduct the probe and the school will make a “fair and informed” decision on McCarty’s status based on results

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“This was not a decision made lightly or in haste. We are concerned that he may have violated key provisions of the University’s Title IX policy. UE will not tolerate any behavior from any university employee or student that jeopardizes the safety and security of others,” the statement read.

Evansville coach Walter McCarty shouts during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Evansville won 67-64. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

“The University has received reports of unwelcome conduct by Coach McCarty since his arrival in March 2018. We have counseled him about his behavior. In the last two weeks, the University received a troubling report about Coach McCarty’s interactions with a member of the campus community. We have placed Coach McCarty on leave while that incident is being investigated. The University will make a fair and informed decision on Coach McCarty’s status based on the results of the investigation.

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“Coach McCarty has enjoyed great success with our Men’s Basketball program and is a popular figure throughout the community. But Coach McCarty’s success does not in any way outweigh the need to uphold the standards that define our university.”

The Purple Aces announced that Bennie Seltzer was named the interim head coach.

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The decision on McCarty comes six weeks after the Purple Aces upset the No. 1-ranked Kentucky at the Rupp Arena in Lexington. Evansville lost the next three of four after beating the Wildcats. They are 9-4 on the season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.