Administration must uphold campus values

At a university where the motto of “Pro Humanitate” and the concept of an inclusive community are central to the campus values, the members of the Editorial Board at the Old Gold & Black strongly believe that every student should feel safe on campus.

If this university wants to truly promote an environment where individuals can flourish and grow, they need to ensure that the students first and foremost feel protected. 

But this isn’t a one-way street.

This involves cooperation from all members of the Wake Forest community — including administrators, faculty, staff, students and coaches.

We as a university and community should encourage each other and not demoralize those around us.

This is not to downplay criticism. An aspect of learning is developing resilience and handling constructive critiques.

However there’s a difference in meaninful dialogue and intimidation.

In recent weeks, members of the women’s volleyball team have come forward expressing a stark reality: their sense of safety at this university has not only been shaken, it has been shattered.

This reality has been fractured, not by some outside force or event, but by an individual who is tasked with mentoring and leading them: their own coach.

And what’s worse, instead of being heard, these women have said they feel ignored by a university that has an obligation to have their best interests at heart.

Several current and former players on this team, some of whom have spoken out publicly, and others who have requested anonymity, have started to detail the patterns of abuse that has been taking place at the hands of coach Ken Murczek.

This behavior is entirely unacceptable, especially from someone entrusted with the mentoring and wellbeing of his players.

The Old Gold & Black has spent the past two months speaking with current and former players about Murczek’s emotional, psychological and verbal abuse.

The players and their parents shared numerous examples of cursing and threats directed at them during practice, as well as brutally harsh punishments for even the smallest mistakes.

They described a two-faced and manipulative man who would frequently threaten the girls’ scholarships, but act friendly and charming in front of the university’s administration.

The players feel helpless since their repeated attempts to contact the administration failed to yield results. 

Instead of taking the concerns of the players seriously, the administration has tried to sweep this issue permanently under the rug.

It is our hope and plea that as these young women continue to share their stories, the university will investigate and take appropriate action.

We find it repugnant that indiviudals on our campus feel “scared.”

We challenge the Wake Forest administration to act in the name of the values they promote.

  • Wake Alumni

    Continued employment at WFU is a bigger mystery than Stonehenge.
    A list of Ken Murczek’s coaching practices over the past 6 years. (UNT and WFU)
    1. Players referred to as f_____ stupid, f_____ dumb, f_____ retarded.
    2. Verbal tirades until some players are literally broken.
    3. Put downs. Nothing is ever “good enough.” Scholarships threatened.
    4. Bad plays are the players fault. Good plays are because of coaching.
    5. When players individually approached him with concerns there is long term retribution.
    6. Forcing players to cheer during punishment drills then yell at the players for cheering.
    7. Writing punishments were also given to individual players after answering obscure questions wrong. Player(s) were required to write the correct answer 50 times.
    8. Throwing things at players
    9. Players were coerced into hugging the coaching staff before and after practices as well as times players saw him on or off campus. Frontal hugs were preferred over side hugs. He tells players they must approach him and “greet” him if they see him “even if it makes their boyfriends jealous. Note:
    All of the hugging ceased during and after the Title IX investigation.
    10. Players think it is in their own best interest to act fake around recruits as to how things are really like.
    11. Controlling food intake to the point players asked parents to “sneak in” food on road trips.
    12. Pits players against players
    13. The majority of past and present players have zero belief in athletic administration and school administration in the removal of Ken and thus are afraid to publicly go on the record.
    14 When HBO was investigating, players were cautioned against speaking to the media by Ron Wellman. Players were provided a 12 year old newspaper article about women athletes being physically attacked and or even raped by those pretending to be media. So in other words best not to talk to media. This is the article provided to the team in 2014. http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Impostor-targets-female-athletes-Posing-as-2802056.php
    15. School admin is keenly and clearly aware of all of the above.