West Virginia defensive coordinator Vic Koenning has been placed on administrative leave following allegations of mistreatment emerged from defensive back Kerry Martin Jr.
Martin is a sophomore from Charleston, West Virginia, and posted a detailed statement on Twitter with multiple claims against Koenning.
To summarize, the allegations include offensive insults about people with intellectual disabilities after Martin made mistakes during practice, supporting President Trump’s wall along the Mexico border, pressure applied to Martin after he changed his religion, and comments regarding the recent protests that have taken place around the country.
West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons released a statement on Tuesday evening about the situation.
“I want to thank Kerry Martin for having the courage to bring his concerns to light,” Lyons said. “We will not tolerate any form of racism, discrimination or bias on our campus, including our athletic programs. 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.”
Some of these allegations have been refuted, as Jon Carpenter, Martin’s high school coach who allegedly told Martin that Koenning has a “slave owner mentality,” told WVSportsNow.com that he never used that phrase in a conversation with Martin.
Carpenter also made it clear that Koenning has been looking out for Kerry, saying, “I told [head coach] Neal Brown that if I knew it was going on I’d be the first person in the car driving up there to throw rocks through windows. I’m shocked because Vic Koenning has aggravated me to death since COVID started. Five or six phone calls to make sure Kerry is fed.”
Martin did admit this to be the case and confirmed Koenning had “done good by me”.
Koenning was with Coach Neal Brown at Troy from 2015-2018 and joined the new staff in West Virginia last season.
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