MA - Catholic university coach accused of hitting students; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747,

A coach should never hit a player. Period. So we’re outraged by allegations that Holy Cross coach Bill Gibbons physically abused players.

There may be some ambiguity over what exactly constitutes verbal abuse. But no one should doubt that an adult college employee hitting teenagers or young adults is wrong.

And it’s of course also upsetting that reportedly these concerns were raised to at least one higher-level university staff that evidently did nothing. Why do high-ranking school officials seem to cower before successful coaches and rebuff students who report misconduct by these coaches?

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell,

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