Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 26, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Letter to the Editor: Volleyball alum discusses experience

After reading the article “Athletes Voice Discontent with Volleyball Program” on November 17, I was appalled to see that the same abuse that I experienced as a player continues to take place. The circle talks, mind games, and destructive coaching methods all happened while I was on the team in 2003. Additionally, I found it interesting that after a 2014 decision, Janet was not supposed to meet with players one-on-one. Eleven years prior to this, Janet met with me in private, and over the course of half an hour berated me, belittled me, humiliated me, and inflicted emotional and psychological damage on me that took me years to overcome. I, along with my parents and my sister, went to the athletic directors at the time and voiced our concerns. Clearly nothing was done.

With Janet Donovan as my head coach, volleyball turned into psychological warfare. I am not speaking out because I am (as Ryan Baker put it) “unhappy” or because I was mad about playing time or being cut. There is a big difference between a complaint about playing time and a complaint about psychological abuse. Calling it a “witch hunt” is insulting and untrue. I think that as an institution Ithaca College needs to do the right thing to protect its student-athletes, and in this case, Janet Donovan needs to be fired. I don’t say this because I have a personal vendetta to settle. I want to protect future Bombers from going through what I experienced. To the girls that spoke out in the article, I applaud you for your courage, and stand with you in solidarity. Maybe if enough of us speak up together, something can finally be done.

Mandi Morningstar-Wieme, ’07