West Virginia University athletic director Shane Lyons has released a statement regarding the accusations of mistreatment and racism that sophomore safety Kerry Martin brought against defensive coordinator Vic Koenning earlier on Tuesday.
“I want to thank Kerry Martin for having the courage to bring his concerns to light,” Lyons said in a release. “We will not tolerate any form of racism, discrimination or bias on our campus, including our athletic programs.”
Lyons announced that Koenning will be placed on administrative leave and an investigation into Martin’s allegations will be conducted.
“Coach Vic Koenning has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately, and the department will work with the appropriate parties to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. This is serious, and we will act appropriately and in the best interests of our student-athletes.”
Martin has alleged that Koenning has antagonized players about their religious beliefs, referred to players uing a slur for mental illness and has made disparaging comments about Hispanics and protestors, among other things.
Martin brought the matter to light in a tweet earlier on Tuesday morning. In the tweet, Martin called for a change to be made in the WVU program and closed by saying, “I have not told anyone else this … because I didn’t want to bring negativity to the program but with everything going on and for him to still act this way and feel okay with saying what he said is not okay. Enough is enough.”
The 2019 season was Koenning’s first as WVU’s defensive coordinator, coming over with new head coach Neal Brown from Troy University last offseason.