Missouri has concluded its Title IX investigation into softball coach Ehren Earleywine with no finding that he violated federal non-discrimination statutes.
Still, Earleywine apparently hasn’t been cleared of all wrongdoing — at least not yet — according to a statement provided to The Star on Friday from MU interim chancellor Hank Foley.
“At Mizzou, we are committed to ensuring the health, well-being and safety of all of our students, faculty and staff,” Foley said. “To this end, we are committed to complying with state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment.
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“We can confirm that the internal investigation by the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX involving University of Missouri softball coach Ehren Earleywine has concluded, and it was determined that there was no violation of our non-discrimination policies.
“At the same time, the university remains equally committed to our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence — and we believe it is incumbent upon each member of our campus community to demonstrate these values in their words and actions. Senior leaders in athletics are currently discussing next steps, and I, too, will be involved in those discussions.”
Earleywine had been under investigation by the athletic department, and later the main campus through MU’s Office for Civil Rights & Title IX, for more than four months.
Former athletic director Mack Rhoades, who resigned July 13 to accept a similar position at Baylor, launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from several players alleging verbal abuse by Earleywine.
Missouri’s compliance department quietly interviewed team members during the season before the team’s Unity Council publicized the investigation May 7 by announcing the Tigers were playing under protest.
After a first-round exit in the SEC softball tournament, Earleywine asked the players to end the protest, which Mizzou’s players agreed to do before hosting an NCAA regional. The Tigers dominated regional play, but lost to Michigan in the NCAA super regional round.
The Star learned in late May that the Title IX office had become involved in the investigation.
Earleywine, a Jefferson City, Mo., native, is 453-154 in 10 seasons as Missouri’s coach. The Tigers have appeared in a NCAA regional every season of Earleywine’s tenure, advancing to a super regional eight times and appearing in three consecutive Women’s College World Series from 2009-11.