In a letter sent to the UA athletic director, “extremely concerned Razorback parents” of players on the women’s volleyball team called for the resignation of the head coach.
The letter, addressed to Jeff Long and dated Nov. 30, details at least 17 complaints against coach Robert Pulliza from a group of anonymous “Razorback parents.”
The grievances include several instances of “emotional abuse.”
The unsigned letter said that Pulliza has called players “weak b****es,” insults players during games and uses the word f*** regularly when conversing with them.
The letter also said he has threatened players, telling one she was lucky that “I don’t punch you out of the gym.”
The letter ended with a demand for his resignation.
“We understand as parents of athletes that coaches sometimes are passionate about their sport. Sometimes they yell. Sometimes they say things a little out of the ordinary. Sometimes they may curse. But this man terrorizes our daughters,” the letter said.
The letter states that it was also sent to Interim Chancellor Dan Ferritor; Julie Cromer, senior associate Athletics Director for Administration; the Associated Student Government; The Arkansas Traveler and two other news organizations.
Pulliza is in his eighth season at the UofA. He was the associate head coach at the University of Kentucky from 2004-07 before joining the Razorbacks.
Officials in the athletic department and University Relations were not immediately available for comment.
UPDATE: The Arkansas Traveler has attempted multiple times to contact Razorback Athletics officials but has not received comment.
As of 1 p.m., officials in University Relations said they are not aware of a letter or any incidents related to Coach Pulliza. Laura Jacobs, the associate vice chancellor for University Relations, directed all comments to Kevin Trainor, the associate athletic director for Public Relations.
UPDATE: The athletic department emailed a statement to the Traveler at 3:26 p.m.:
“The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics recently received an anonymous letter containing allegations regarding Arkansas head volleyball coach Robert Pulliza. Although an anonymous letter does not provide an opportunity to authenticate the legitimacy of the author(s) of the letter or its contents, we have initiated an inquiry into the allegations. Due to the ongoing nature of this review, the department will have no further comment until that process is completed.”
See our follow-up coverage here: http://www.uatrav.com/sports/article_dbc71d84-9ed0-11e5-9704-af372b91d857.html