MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Kerry Martin, WVU high school graduate, and Capital High School graduate, posted a lengthy tweet Tuesday afternoon detailing what he says are a series of inappropriate comments from the WVU sophomore defensive coordinator , Vic Koenning.
Koenning has been placed on administrative license by WVU. Athletic director Shane Lyons released this statement: “I want to thank Kerry Martin for having the courage to bring up her concerns. We will not tolerate any form of racism, discrimination or prejudice on our campus, including our sports programs. Coach Vic Koenning has been placed on administrative leave with immediate effect, and the department will work with the appropriate parties to conduct a thorough investigation of these allegations. This is serious, and we will act appropriately and in the best interest of our student athletes. “
I have been thinking about publishing but we need a change in our program. pic.twitter.com/40hZYXjxib
– Kerry “KJ” Martin Jr.🌹 (@ KMartinJr11) June 23, 2020
In Martin’s tweet, he wrote about various alleged incidents with Koenning since spring 2019. He begins by referring to former WVU security Derrek Pitts, who has since transferred to Marshall. Martin states: “Starting again at Spring Ball 2019 before the boys started transferring, Coach Vic has antagonized Derrek Pitts for believing in something he did not believe. He would comment on the Bible and speak about religion in front of Derrek, which would make him want to question the things he believed in. “
Martin then discussed an alleged incident in June 2019, after the team returned to Morgantown for summer training. Martin said: “I had my first incident with him after a mistake I made on the field that called me late for doing the wrong technique.” Martin added that he has family members with mental illness.
The last incident Martin alleges occurred yesterday at a position meeting. He states: “Coach Vic tells us about the conversation he had with his son about the riots and protests and his exact words were: ‘If people did not want the police to shoot him with tear gas, or not to reject it, then they would not They should be out protesting. “Martin added that he spoke about this, but did not receive a direct response.
Towards the end of the tweet, Martin adds that, “No, Coach Vic is not a bad person and has good intentions in many different ways, but his egregious actions towards us nullify the good things he has done and many of us are uncomfortable with to be close to him. “
Coach Neal Brown offered this statement Tuesday night:
“Mountaineer Family, I come to you tonight sick from today’s events.
Earlier today, Kerry Martin expressed his voice and had every right to do so. I learned about Kerry’s expressed concerns through Twitter. I care deeply about everyone involved and have hoped to speak in public so that I can speak to Kerry, Vic, the team and our administration first.
After talking to Kerry, I took immediate action. Together with Shane and her team, we launched an independent investigation. I spoke to all parties involved, the defense as a unit and the team in general. Once again I emphasized to our team that our program culture will be one of acceptance, respect, tolerance, and positive relationships. I stressed to our team and staff that we will be open and transparent throughout the university process.
I will refrain from continuing to discuss or comment on these issues until the University process is complete. I ask everyone to be patient as we work through this process as quickly as possible. We will listen, learn and grow from this together, as a family, to unite even more. ”
Martin says he has had meetings with head coach Neal Brown about the abuse. Brown has a press conference previously scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.