EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Just 64 days after leading the Purple Aces to possibly the greatest win in program history over top-ranked Kentucky, Walter McCarty is out as head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Evansville.
UE Relations released a statement just before 6 Tuesday night. McCarty had been on administrative leave since December 26 as the university initiated an external investigation by a national law firm into reports of alleged sexual misconduct and violations of the university’s Title IX policy.
In the statement, UE said the investigation will continue, but based on the facts uncovered so far, it was necessary to terminate Mr. McCarty’s employment immediately.
In a separate email to the UE community, President Christopher Pietruszkiewicz said that “since the start of the investigation, the University has received additional reports of alleged misconduct by Mr. McCarty.”
Pietruskiewicz also wrote that “McCarty has attempted to improperly influence witnesses in the investigation.”
This all broke just 24 hours before the Aces return to the Ford Center Wednesday night for a game against Drake. The team has lost six straight games since McCarty was put on leave.
President Pietruskiewicz said the university doesn’t intend to share the details out of respect for the members involved.
The press release also stated that the university issued warnings to McCarty regarding “inappropriate off-court behavior” with members of the campus, stating he also participated in training concerning acceptable behavior under Title IX.
The press released answered some questions that were raised following the initial news on December 26 but also raised a lot more in regards to what will come of the investigation.
UE officials denied the requests to speak on camera Tuesday night.
When the news of McCarty’s firing broke, a UE student we spoke with said he thought the university did what it needed to do in this situation.
That student said he’s glad there is a culture where people can speak up when something is wrong.
“I’m very glad our culture is changing here at UE. I think that before it was very, um, we didn’t like speaking up about things that were wrong," said Justin Pappas, a UE student. "And I think with this new, like with this new culture, with new generations that are coming in, we’re open to sharing our opinions and speaking up when things are wrong, and I think this is definitely a case of that...”
14 News has reached out to Walter McCarty’s attorney. He tells us they will not be commenting on McCarty’s firing on Tuesday night.
Just hours after the university announced the dismissal of McCarty, UE named Todd Lickliter as the men’s head basketball coach.
Lickliter was a UE assistant coach during the 2018-2019 season.
Before that, Lickliter was the head coach at Butler University from 2001-2007 where he led the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 two times. He was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches National Coach of the Year in 2007.
In a news release issued by the university, Lickliter has signed a multiyear deal with UE and will assume the position immediately. The associate athletic director says he will be on the sideline when the Aces play on Wednesday.
“My family and I are excited to have the opportunity to rejoin the Evansville community,” Lickliter said. “I am humbled by the chance to lead the Purple Aces program and thankful to reunite with this outstanding group of student-athletes. It is a privilege to be a part of a program with a rich history and tradition.”
14 Sports will talk to Lickliter Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. before the Aces take on Drake