Sports WTF

Boston University Women’s Basketball Coach Kelly Greenberg Yelled At Four Players, Which Makes Her a Bully

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Have you ever been yelled at by a coach while growing up? Did they tell you to stop being a baby and “tough it out?” Did they ever hurt your feelings and make you wanna quit? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are a victim of bullying and should probably check yourself into the hospital IMMEDIATELY!!!

Earlier this year Holy Cross Women’s Coach Bill Gibbons was outed as the latest big bully. He was really, really mean to a girl named Ashley Cooper – the daughter of millionaires who grew up on a horse ranch. Apparently he yelled at her all the time, which had nothing to do with the fact that she was a terrible player. Nothing at all. Cooper was so emotionally scarred that she left her scholarship, switched schools, and filed a lawsuit. Well, it turned out that the whole thing was unsubstantiated and Holy Cross has reinstated Coach Gibbons.


But the plague of bullying has apparently spread to another school famous for producing 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Boston University, known for providing society with indebted college students with no skills who are quite proud of the fact that they went to BU instead of UMass, is apparently the new haven of coach bullying. At least according to an expose written in the Boston GlobeThe commenters on there are overwhelmingly against the coach after this extremely biased and one sided article. Which is surprising because people who read the Globe are known for being big winners.

“One basketball player at Boston University said she felt so emotionally damaged by her coach she considered suicide.

Another player said the coach, Kelly Greenberg, treated her so poorly she sought mental health care. And two other players said Greenberg’s emotional abuse ruined their love of the sport.

All four women walked away from the BU women’s basketball team this academic year, an exodus that has renewed questions about Greenberg’s treatment of her student-athletes — and her future at the school.”

Suicide? Mental health care? So let me get this straight…..she didn’t commit suicide, but she contemplated it? Doesn’t that make her just like every kid that grew up during the 90’s listening to grunge music? I remember when it used to be cool to talk about suicide. “Jeremy spoke in class today” ring a bell? Because if you went through with it, Pearl Jam might write a song about you too!!

Then you thought about actually going through with it, and said, “f*** that, I’ll get over it.” If a coach yelling at you forces you to end your life, then you had much bigger problems than the coach. And what exactly does “mental health care” mean? Talking to Dr. Melfi about your feelings?

I guess we’ll just have to take their word for it.


Of the four players who recently left the team, two walked away from their scholarships, another is scheduled to graduate in May, and the fourth remains in school, her financial status to be determined.

“I was so grateful to go to such a prestigious and expensive school and be given a full scholarship to play there,’’ said Dana Theobald, a former star at West Springfield High School, who withdrew in October. “I arrived feeling very confident and motivated. Then I felt bullied, threatened, and emotionally abused by the coach. By the time I left, she had demolished me as a person.’’

OK, close your eyes an imagine a Division 1 women’s basketball player. Now open them. Did you imagine this…..?


Yea, Dana Theobald is the smoke on the right. Not what I pictured either. But then again, when I read her BU bio, it made a little more sense:

“Appeared in eight games … Made first appearance at Rhode Island … Scored first collegiate point off a free throw at Maine … Recorded first career block vs. Stony Brook … Dished out an assist against UMBC.”

Those are her career highlights. A free throw. A block. An assist. But yea, I’m sure the coach had no reason to yell at her. She probably should’ve pulled her aside and told her, “I really wished you would start justifying the fact that you’re getting a $60,000 scholarship to play basketball here. Maybe start scoring or something? If not, no big deal, because you’re a GREAT person, and that’s all that really matters.”

Does Coach Greenberg even know how good she was at West Springfield? She scored like 30 points against Agawam once. It was awesome.

The Globe expose continued:

Greenberg, who completed her 10th season as BU’s head coach Thursday, declined through a school spokesman to be interviewed. She is in the final year of a contract extension she received after guiding the Terriers to a 25-8 record in the 2008-09 season.

The other departed players — Melissa Gallo, Katie Poppe, and Dionna Joynes — said they experienced varying degrees of emotional abuse from Greenberg.

“Giving up a $60,000-a-year scholarship is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,’’ said Joynes, who went home to Maryland in October. “I hate that I’m not in school, but it had to be done. My spirit was broken.’’

So the coach guided them to a 25-8 record one year and proved she’s a winner. What exactly have the other three plaintiffs done? Poor Dionna Joynes had to willingly forfeit a free college education. She must’ve been a pretty big contributor to the team right?

“Appeared in five games … Made first appearance at Eastern Michigan … Scored first career points against UMass.”

Oh. But yea, I’m sure the entitled girl getting a free college education, who almost never got off the bench is being completely genuine here. A college coach should never yell at one of their players, even if they never score while getting a free ride through college. Yelling can hurt people’s feelings, and people should never, ever have their feelings hurt. Ever.

Did Coach Greenberg even see the size of the trophy she got in high school once?


Did she earn that trophy? How dare you ask that question you big bully!!! Nowadays everyone get’s a trophy. You might think this is dumb and defeats the purpose of having trophies and awards in general, but at least no one is getting their FEELINGS hurt 🙂

The article in the Globe continued:

“Greenberg, 46, has been credited with positively influencing many players through the years. She has been praised by leaders at the University of Pennsylvania, where she guided the Quakers to two Ivy League titles as head coach from 1999-2004, and Holy Cross, where she served for seven years, finishing as the associate head coach.

A couple of Greenberg’s top players this year also were said to support her, but the school declined to make them available for interviews.”

So let me get this straight. The Boston Globe writes an article on this evil bully/coach, and they only interview people who can’t get off the bench and transferred out of there? Yea, that seems like a fair and balanced way to write a story. And at least we got to the bottom of her bullying ways – she worked at Holy Cross, under the alpha male of bullying in women’s college basketball – BILL GIBBONS!!!!


So what exactly happened that drove these poor girls to contemplate ending it all?

Two of the women — Joynes and Theobald — said they had experienced emotional challenges in high school but none related to their coaches and none as serious as the problems they allege Greenberg caused. They said they sought mental health care at BU because of her.

“She didn’t treat us like human beings at all,’’ Theobald said.

The four women said it was not uncommon for Greenberg to assail them as “horrible’’ and unworthy teammates, especially when they were injured.

Joynes said she reported feeling suicidal after Greenberg described her as an uncaring and selfish teammate after she suffered a concussion. She said she reported her suicidal thoughts to a BU staffer and was rushed by ambulance to a hospital.

“It was very scary,’’ Joynes said. “I was blaming everything on myself because of the way I had been treated. I knew deep inside that it wasn’t me, but I was too afraid to say it was [Greenberg] because she didn’t make me feel supported.’’

They experienced emotional challenges in high school? That’s so weird. High school kids never experience emotional challenges. And the problems they face are long lasting and really, really matter.

So, I guess we’ll just have to taker her word that the highly respected head coach called her “uncaring and selfish” after getting a concussion. Because that seems like a real thing that actually happened in real life. Really. Definitely 100% truth, no doubt about it.

Good thing this poor girl was put in an ambulance immediately. If she didn’t then she would’ve thought about suicide some more. Or at least, tell some more people she was contemplating suicide. And Joynes obviously shouldn’t blame herself for being a terrible basketball player at BU. It wasn’t her fault at all. It was her coach’s fault for not making her feel “supported.” Clearly there weren’t enough stickers, group hugs, and trips to the Boston Aquarium for this team.


What about the other two girls? Melissa Gallo and Katie Poppe?

“Only two players who left the team — Gallo and Poppe — were consistent contributors on the court.”

Apparently the Boston Globe is in the business of making liberal use of what a “consistent contributor” is. Last year the two of them finished 6th and 8th on the team in scoring, and neither was a regular starter. The two of them combined had a 1:1 turnover to assist ratio, shot 30% from the field, and 60% from the free throw line.

Those are really good numbers – if you’re Philadelphia 76ers and you’re purposely tanking so you can draft Andrew Wiggins. Free throw shooting is usually a specialty of women’s basketball players, so it would make sense that the coach could possibly become frustrated that her scholarship athletes shoot free throws like Shaq. But yea, I’m sure the coach yelling at them and hurting their feelings had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they had more turnover than Market Basket.

Obviously what happened here is the coach is a big meanie. Instead of telling Gallo and Poppe that they were doing a great job, as she should’ve, she told them the truth. You can’t tell people the truth if it hurts their feelings, because hurting people’s feelings can never, ever happen in a civilized society. Ever.


So did the Globe have anything specific that the coach said to these poor victims of bullying?

“Gallo said Greenberg blasted her as a selfish, mistake-prone “shell of a person’’ who did not care about the program and was “not a good member of the team.’’

Gallo, like the others who left the team, stressed that she loved everything about BU but Greenberg.

“I came here to play the game I loved, and I fell in love with the school,’’ Gallo said. “But I discovered that when you play for Coach Greenberg, you don’t play the game you love. You play her game, an emotional game that is not about basketball.’’”


She said she wasn’t a good team member??? How dare she!!! Does she even realize what the value of seniors who can’t shoot, turn the ball over all the time, and never score is? They’re practically irreplaceable.

Her last quote basically sums up what this story and every single story like it. She loved the game. She loved the school. The fact that she was getting a full ride to play the game she loved and attend the school that she loved was a dream come true. Until the pesky coach got in the way. Coaches aren’t here to coach. They’re here to let kids do whatever they want. If the kids think they know what they’re doing, then it’s the coaches job to just get out of the way and be nice.

But instead she had to play “her (Greenberg’s) game,” which is really weird since she’s the head coach and all. Coach Greenberg obviously should’ve just allowed Ms. Gallo and her teammates to play the game they loved, the way they wanted to play it – which apparently means turning the ball over and shooting air balls a lot. It’s either let them do that, or hurt their feelings. And you can never hurt someone’s feelings.


Disclosure: TurtleBoy Sports frowns upon bullying.

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16 Comment(s)
  • brianna scanlon
    March 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    coach greenberg might be the nicest person i have ever met. my young daughters love going to her camp

    • Joey G
      March 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, Brianna. Would you like to go to Betty’s in Worcester this weekend??

  • ed ganley
    March 11, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    dana and her mom hAD her high school coaches fired also, is there a trend here.

  • DJ
    March 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Obviously some of you were not student-athletes at the Division 1 level which requires dedication, hard work, skill, and yes every once in a while a little yelling at! My gosh can these girls be bigger babies? I played Division 1 basketball for 4 years and did my coach yell and scream and call us names that would curl your hair—-HELL YES! Did I go crying to my parents or to a newspaper with mental issues? No because I appreciated my FREE RIDE to college which I did not have one student loan to pay back! So let’s grow up and deal with a little discipline!

    • The Janitor at Turtleboy Sports
      March 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Four years of Division 1 ball? Is this the guy with the borrowed Cadillac and the cheap cigar for the Celtics game? Wait, no… he spelled “dedication” and “newspaper” correctly.

  • Beverly Iwanicki
    March 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    If this were a mens sport this coach greenberg story would never have gone to print. Allow Ms. Greenberg to coach and players please stop whining to the press. If you do not like playing for whatever reason then quit. A 60k scholarship is a lot of $$ expect to work for it and in the meanwhile do not slander a well respected person who has given her career to supporting young adults as they transition to adulthood. Grow up.

    • Joey G
      March 11, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Turtleboy, please (after you are done making love to the turtle) remove Beverly’s post… she is bullying lots of people.

      However Beverly is likely wrong that this wouldn’t go to print if this were a mens sport. Bullying is the new cause of the week and, since gender doesn’t exist to these bullying people, this would probably be a big story if some pansyass lacrosse (let’s face it, it would be lacrosse) players accused their coach of bullying them.

    • david
      March 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      exactly ,this reporter is the bully in this case

  • Joey G
    March 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I never went to boot camp… but I knew a great man who did. And when he came back, he offered advice like “stop grabassing” and “quit your lollygagging with the girls on the high jump mat,” as well as discussing the penalty at Parris Island for such serious crimes as laying around on the high jump mat, refusing to do field events, not running the 2 mile, and being a dog and peeing on a monument. Note: All of these apparently resulted in death by firing squad.

  • joefedorowicz
    March 11, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Thank you for writing this.

  • Joey G
    March 11, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Down at Parris Island, Dana Theobald would have been shot!

    • dcohen
      March 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      ha comparing D1 basketball to Marine Corp boot camp!? thats the problem!

      • mike .r anderson
        March 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        joey g. aced boot camp.

  • matt
    March 10, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Just a side effect of women in sports

    • Joey G
      March 11, 2014 at 7:58 am

      Exactly, like Jonathan Martin.

      • mike .r anderson
        March 11, 2014 at 10:04 am

        | U r the next |
        | daniel tosh |
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          /   |\/ノ
         / ム / ̄\_
        (_丿 \_/\_)

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