Morehead State coach Sean Woods has been charged with battery after two players reported him to campus police for physically abusing them during a November basketball game.
Woods faces charges for abusive actions committed during a Nov. 19 game against Evansville. According to the Indy Star, Woods allegedly struck Malik Maitland with a backhand twice during halftime; he also allegedly shoved junior Soufiyane Diakite twice, once during a first-half timeout and later during halftime. The two players reported Woods to the Morehead State Police Department, who then turned the case over to the Evansville Police Department. Woods was suspended by Morehead State for three games with pay in November following the incident and subsequent complaints
For Maitland, this is the second time he’s voiced concern over Woods’s abusive actions. His father, Edson, spoke with ESPN to reveal that Woods allegedly head-butted Maitland “late last season,” but apologized and promised not to repeat himself. Edson told ESPN that Malik spoke with a him and a team trainer about the event, ultimately deciding not to press charges. Edson released the following statement on behalf of his family to ESPN:
“We are very, extremely disappointed in coach Woods,” Edson Maitland told ESPN, as he read from a prepared statement on behalf of his family. “He came into our home and violated our trust, the trust that we put in him as a coach. Not only did we ask him to coach our son, but to treat our son just as he would treat his own son. He was reckless with willful intention in his action toward my son, inflicting such a pain on him.
“This is not the first time he violated our trust because last year, during the season, he head-butted my son and turned around and asked him to forgive him, and he apologized, and my son accepted his apology, and [he] said he would never do it again. And as for the school, I’m still waiting for a response from them and to take corrective action and appropriate action without any form of a delay, saying they’re still investigating. And as for all the assistants that are there working, I’m appalled, because they are an extension of Coach Woods, and I think the NCAA should step in and take appropriate action.”
A Nov. 23 report from WTVQ stated that Morehead State players have filed a petition with the NCAA to grant them clemency from the one-year sit-out rule and allow them to transfer and play immediately.
Woods’s abusive tendencies first earned him the national spotlight in 2012, when he shoved Devon Atkinson after the guard committed his fifth foul in an eight-point game against Kentucky, Woods’s alma mater. Woods was shown yelling at Atkinson for at least a minute before resuming his coaching duties on the sidelines. Atkinson tweeted about the interaction the following day, downplaying Woods’s role of a bully; Woods was suspended for one game by Morehead State.
Woods is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 9.