Back in December, a woman brought a lawsuit against four members of the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball coaching staff. She claims they held her against her will until she promised to keep quiet about other criminal activity happening in their circle. One person named in the suit is recently-fired head coach Derek Kellogg, though UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford claims the firing and the lawsuit are unrelated.
The plaintiff in the suit is AyAnna Hickman, who formerly dated assistant coach Lou Roe. Hickman says Roe, along with current assistant coach Shyrone Chatman and former strength coach Richard Hogans, asked her to meet with them at the Mullins Center following a basketball game in December 2013. Hickman, who was dating Roe at the time, agreed and brought her son with her to meet with the coaching staff.
Once there, Roe became argumentative and Hickman attempted to leave with her son. She claims she wanted to leave as soon as Roe became agitated because he had physically abused both her and her son in the past. When she went to leave, Roe, Chatman, and Hogans barred the door and informed her they needed to discuss some things before she could go.
Allegedly, the men acknowledged that Hickman possessed knowledge of criminal activity within the team administration, including domestic abuse, infidelity, substance use, and the suppression of complaints made against team and staff members. Halfway through the intimidation session, Roe stepped out into the hall and met then-head coach Kellogg and informed him what they were up to. Kellogg and Roe then waited in the hall until Chatman and Hogans eventually permitted Hickman to leave.
In her civil suit naming the four men, Hickman claims they deprived her of her civil rights, intimidated and falsely imprisoned her. She is seeking $75,000 in damages. The lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts U.S. District Court on December 6, 2016. After the suit was filed, Roe was placed on administrative leave, though he and Chatman are still considered employees of UMass. Hogans left the team in 2014 and Kellogg was fired last month after nine seasons. It is unclear what will happen to Roe and Chatman should Hickman win her case, though it is likely they will be fired.