Boise State women’s assistant coach Cody Butler was placed on administrative leave on Tuesday after sexual abuse and harassment allegations from a former player at his previous job surfaced, according to the Idaho Statesman.
Butler, who has been with the Broncos since 2012, was sued in May by a former player at Yakima Valley College (Wash.), where he served as a men’s and women’s assistant from 2000-02, a co-head coach of the women’s team during the 2002-03 season and then the women’s coach until he left ahead of the 2012 season.
Butler was placed on leave after the Idaho Statesman asked about the school’s knowledge of the lawsuit and allegations.
“Upon discovery of a lawsuit against assistant coach Cody Butler, Boise State placed him on administrative leave pending university review of the matter,” the athletic department said in a statement, via the Idaho Statesman.
The lawsuit details several allegations from a former player on the women’s team at Yakima Valley from 2001-03. The player, per the report, alleged that Butler made “persistent comments” about her body and her “behind,” and that he made “inappropriate physical contact” with her during one-on-one coaching sessions and meetings. The incidents allegedly began when the player was a 17-year-old high school student attending a youth basketball program and continued through her time at Yakima Valley.
The former player spent time in prison on charges related to drug abuse after leaving Yakima Valley and playing one final year at an NAIA school, per the Statesman, and was homeless in Arizona for a time. She has since been sober for nine years, received her master’s degree and started a family.
She did not report Butler’s actions while at Yakima Valley. It was a Facebook video in 2018 of another woman sharing her experience of spending time in a hot tub with Butler as a teenager, however, that reportedly motivated her to come forward.
“My entire world stopped because I realized I was not alone,” the former player told the Statesman. “I didn’t make anything up. This really happened, and I’m not exaggerating. He did this. And that’s when I … at least started to realize that what happened to me was wrong.”
The lawsuit named Butler, Yakima Valley and the state of Washington as defendants — all parties denied all allegations.
A motion to dismiss the case was denied in October, per the report, and a trial date is set for next year.
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