Ex-Oakland Basketball Players Claim Coach Gave Them Eating Disorders

Beckie Francis, the former Oakland University women's basketball coach, was fired last month without much explanation. Now, three former players—and others off the record—have come forth to the Detroit Free Press and accused Francis of intimidating them, criticizing their bodies and pushing them to go to church.

Ex-players—including Karli Harris, Stacey Farrell and Jenna Bachrouche—shared stories of Francis and her attempts to control their lives outside of basketball. A select few:

Bachrouche described a day in October 2011 when Francis told the team it would watch film. Bachrouche said Francis pulled her aside to say: “Jenna, we’re going to be watching my testimony in church. I think it would be really, really, really good for you if you came in and watched it. But you don’t have to, but I think it would be a really, really, really good idea if you did.”

[...]

OU players were disgusted last summer when they were asked by an assistant coach, under orders from Francis, to take off their shirts and pose for pictures flexing their muscles, front and back, wearing only their sports bras and Spandex. This was done so there could be before-and-after photos to show body changes, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

[...]

“She would pass the ball around or try to guard us and she would always touch your stomach or always feel for your stomach,” said a former player who asked not to be identified. “After a while she’d be like: ‘Oh, let me feel your six-pack.’ ”

Read the entire article here.

[Detroit Free Press]

Photo: Carlos Osorio/AP