Swarthmore College’s women’s head basketball coach, Candice Signor-Brown, is being investigated after an anonymous Instagram post called her out for sexually assaulting a player in 2011.
In a snowball effect, more student-athletes have come forward to speak out about the mistreatment and obscure coaching tactics by Signor-Brown. Though none of the subsequent claims are sexual in nature, the controversy has generated so much momentum. There is now a petition with over 3,200 signatures from those inside and outside of Swarthmore College to have Signor-Brown removed as head coach.
The alleged sexual assault of the player at the previous college Signor-Brown coached at (Vassar College) occurred 10 years ago. The victim claims that while at a Christmas basketball tournament down in Florida, the team took a close loss to a New Jersey school and returned to the hotel. That was when Signor-Brown invited a player to her room. Assuming the coach wanted to talk to her about her game performance, she agreed and went inside.
The player, now a 30-year-old woman, says that once inside the room, Signor-Brown offered her an alcoholic drink — which was fine being she was an of-age senior. However, the incident that followed is what the woman wrote about on Instagram that elicited such immense controversy.
“I was sitting on the bed when she straddled me. I remember asking what she was doing. She pinned me down with her body and put her hands in my sweatpants, under my underwear.”
She went on to admit that she finally faked an orgasm to end the ordeal.
She did not tell anyone what happened that night or in the weeks to follow in fear it would ruin the teams’ season. Further, she said that the coach repeatedly harassed and tried to pressure her into a relationship. The player’s former girlfriend and father validated in an interview with The Inquirer that she told them about it in the months and years after it happened.
After such a long period of time and such a serious accusation, the woman still says that she is affected by the experience and spoke up not for the publicity- but to let other players know. She confronted Signor-Brown about the incident at an alumni reunion conveying her ongoing worry for other players and her own intrapersonal battle with it.
“I very anxiously told her how I felt about what happened. I told her my biggest anxiety was that she would do it to someone else. I told her I have a hard time trusting women now.”
“She [Signor-Brown] told me she didn’t see it that way and she’s sorry I saw it that way.”