The Traveler student newspaper at the University of Arkansas reported yesterday on allegations of abusive treatment of players by women’s volleyball coach Robert Pulliza.
The Athletic Department confirmed it is investigating allegations made in an anonymous letter seeking the coach’s resignation. The Traveler interviewed current and former players who said in on-the-record interviews that the allegations of abusive treatment were accurate.
Seniors Monica Bollinger and Chanell Clark-Bibbs both said that they did not know who sent the letter but agreed with each of its points.
Pulliza’s actions go beyond the regular tactics of other coaches, Bollinger said.
“He would call me a weak b***h or he would call me a pouty b***h or anything along those lines and that was pretty much on a regular basis,” Bollinger said. “I mean, he even told one of my teammates he wanted to punch her out of the gym, but he never actually touched anyone.
“Whenever you get this kind of talk every single day (from) someone you’re supposed to believe in … you end up feeling like you’ve been emotionally abused and verbally abused and I think that’s why a lot of my teammates and I feel hostile toward him.”
There’s lots more incendiary stuff in the article. The newspaper couldn’t get a comment from Pullizza, whose losing record in seven years at UA and the number of specific allegations from named critics don’t indicate a good outcome. The demeanor of Pulliza, a Jeff Long hire in 2008, has been no secret, a former athletic department employee tells me.