Coach fired after narcotics scandal

Posted: Monday, December 22, 2003

SEATTLE The University of Washington reportedly fired softball coach Teresa Wilson, the most significant fallout so far from a scandal involving a former team doctor who handed out narcotics to players.

''This is the most shocking thing short of a death that's ever happened to me,'' Wilson told The Seattle Times. ''Obviously, it's sad that anyone would think that it's necessary or that it would come to this. I'm in disbelief.''

The university has been negotiating terms of Wilson's release, the Times and The News Tribune of Tacoma reported in Sunday's editions.

Athletic director Barbara Hedges refused to confirm or deny the reports. She also declined comment on the investigation of Dr. William Scheyer, which has been her position since the news surfaced in mid-October.

''All I can tell you is that we will have a statement about this tomorrow,'' Hedges told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Citing an unidentified source, The News Tribune reported an internal university investigation revealed Wilson knew Scheyer improperly handed out drugs to her players.

The 41-year-old Wilson, who is in her 11th season as head coach, built Washington softball into a national power. She declined to say what she was told by the university but indicated she is considering hiring an attorney.

''I now have my reputation and career to think about,'' Wilson said. ''I'm obviously going to have to talk to people smarter than I am about these sorts of things.''

Wilson is the second prominent coach fired by UW this year. Hedges fired former football coach Rick Neuheisel in June for gambling on the NCAA basketball tournament, then initially lying to NCAA investigators. Neuheisel contested his firing and has sued the university and NCAA.

Scheyer's license was suspended by state health investigators in October.

Investigators determined he improperly prescribed and dispensed large quantities of narcotics, tranquilizers and other prescription drugs to softball players in recent years.

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