Morehead State officials announced Tuesday that head basketball coach Sean Woods has been suspended with pay, effective immediately.
The former University of Kentucky star led the Eagles to a runner-up finish in the College Basketball Invitational last season. Morehead State has started this season 2-2.
“Resulting from complaints received, the institution has begun an investigation involving the head basketball coach,” Athletics Director Brian Hutchinson said, according to a news release by the university. “While we continue through the formal process, we believe it is prudent to suspend the coach until the investigation is finished.”
Hutchinson said that assistant coach Preston Spradlin will lead the team until the investigation is completed.
“Since this is an ongoing process, we will be unable to comment further until this comes to a conclusion,” Hutchinson said.
Woods is in his fifth season at Morehead State. He previously was the head coach at Mississippi Valley State from 2008 to 2012.
On June 27, Morehead State announced that it had given Woods a contract extension through 2020.
“Results are a direct result of effort and of following our plan,” Hutchinson said in June. “I give tremendous credit to Sean and the staff under his direction for our basketball success.”
Woods said then that he was excited to build on a 75-63 record in his first four seasons.
“This extension shows that I’m here for the long haul and that I’ve bought in to what is going on here at Morehead State,” he said. “We are committed to creating a culture of excellence, both on and off the court.”
Woods was previously suspended for one game after appearing to shove one of his players, Devon Atkinson, during a loss to Kentucky in 2012. After that incident, Herald-Leader sports columnist Mark Story wrote that Woods “ needs to learn to see himself as others see him and dial back what can be an in-your-face sideline demeanor.”
After Morehead lost at Evansville 69-56 on Saturday, Woods said, “They got point-blank layups, they beat us on the boards, and they got more second-chance points. Things like that are hurting us. ... This team is going to be good, but we’re not good right now.”
Spradlin is in his third season at Morehead State. Before that, the Pikeville native spent five seasons at Kentucky as a graduate assistant (2009-11) and assistant director of operations (2011-14).
He played in high school at Betsy Layne, and in college at Alice Lloyd from 2005 to 2009.