The story of basketball coach Mike Lonergan was a good one. He grew up in the D.C. area playing hoops, coached at Division III Catholic University, where he played, and then he got the big time call to coach George Washington University's men's basketball team five years ago.
The Colonials made the NCAA tournament and last season won the NIT. That story though comes to a screeching halt as Lonergan was relieved of his coaching duties after an outside investigation concluded that the coach had "engaged in conduct inconsistent with the university's values."
In a statement released by the school, George Washington Provost Forrest Maltzman said, in part:
"The university has created and is committed to maintaining a community where all students, faculty and staff feel welcome and comfortable. We value inclusion and diversity and will not tolerate conduct that runs counter to those principles."
In July, the Washington Post reported that players had complained about Lonergan's coaching tactics, including degrading players verbally and emotionally. There were also reports that Lonergan make controversial comments towards the school's Athletic Director Patrick Nero.
No interim coach was named for the Colonials but practice starts in two weeks.
The timing could not be any worse for a program that had turned the corner with Lonergan at the helm. He left the Foggy Bottom team with a 97-70 record.