Following an ongoing investigation by the university’s Title IX office, Athletic Director Keith Carter has released a statement that “the anonymous allegations of inappropriate behavior by the softball staff are unsubstantiated.”
This comes after 13 people in connection with the program confirmed an investigation regarding allegations of sexual misconduct involving assistant coach Katie Rietkovich Browder and an unnamed senior softball player.
While there was no mention of Browder in the statement made by Carter, head coach Jamie Trachsel issued her own statement, conveying her thanks for the support she received during this time.
“We would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to our university leadership for thoroughly reviewing this matter and reaching a conclusion…. It has been an emotional time for our entire program, but I have no doubt our coaches and players will grow stronger together as we move through this shared experience. We look forward to putting this behind us as a team, as we continue to build our championship culture and compete for more titles here at Ole Miss,” Trachsel said in her statement.
Trachsel was accused of attempting to cover up the scandal involving Browder and a player by offering bribe money in the form of scholarships. It was also reported to the Ole Miss Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance office that Trachsel created a mentally toxic environment.
However, Carter stated that the “other anonymous allegations involving the culture of the softball program have been thoroughly reviewed by Athletics Compliance staff and were determined not to be in violation of any policies. The well-being and experience of our student-athletes will always be our top priority, and through this extensive review, we discussed these anonymous claims with our players and all were unsubstantiated.”
After announcing her plans to return to Ole Miss for her COVID-19 season, captain Jessica Puk then entered the NCAA transfer portal, leaving Ole Miss to join the Arizona State Sun Devils. Along with Puk, another star Rebel player, Blaise Biringer, entered the transfer portal Sept. 2.
Biringer has not announced a commitment yet, but her transfer will mark the fifth Rebel to leave Ole Miss in the midst of the controversy surrounding the softball program.