College Sports

Morehead State coach Sean Woods faces battery charge after accusations by players

Morehead State coach Sean Woods called plays during a January 2015 Ohio Valley Conference game against Eastern Kentucky University.
Morehead State coach Sean Woods called plays during a January 2015 Ohio Valley Conference game against Eastern Kentucky University. The Herald-Leader

Morehead State University men’s basketball coach Sean Woods is facing a misdemeanor battery charge in Indiana after two of his players accused him of assaulting them during a game, WKYT is reporting.

When Woods was suspended with pay last month, Morehead officials said they were investigating “complaints received” about Woods. The school’s athletics director said Wednesday morning that the investigation is “nearing completion.”

After Morehead’s game at the University of Evansville on Nov. 19, two players, Malik Maitland and Soufiyane Diakite, told a Morehead State police officer that Woods assaulted them during the game, according to the television station. The officer contacted police in Evansville.

Maitland said that during halftime, the coach backhanded him in the chest; Diakite said the coach shoved him during a timeout and again in the locker room, WKYT reported from court documents.

On Tuesday, Woods was charged with battery resulting in bodily injury in Vanderburgh County, Ind. He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 9.

Woods, who is in his fifth season at Morehead, was suspended for one game in 2012 after appearing to shove one of his players, Devon Atkinson, during a loss to Kentucky.

Before this season began, he signed a contract extension with Morehead State through 2020.

“As we communicated in our initial statement, when we were made aware of the accusations the university initiated an internal administrative review and suspended Coach Woods,” Athletics Director Brian Hutchinson said in a statement Wednesday morning. “The administrative review process is nearing completion. Once completed, further comment may be made at that time. Since this is both a student matter and personnel issue, we intend to respect and protect the privacy of individuals and ask that rightful and appropriate due process be allowed for all involved.”

Assistant coach Preston Spradlin is leading the team during the investigation.

Woods, a former University of Kentucky star — one of the “Unforgettables” — was the head coach at Mississippi Valley State from 2008 to 2012.

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