Ex-Nebraska basketball player files lawsuit against school over relationship with former coach


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Ashley Scoggin, a former Nebraska Cornhuskers women’s basketball player, accused the head coach of the team and the athletic director of failing to enact safeguards, rules or training to prevent staff members from having sexual relationships with student-athletes.

Scoggin made the accusations in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Sunday against head coach Amy Williams and athletic director Trev Alberts. The lawsuit detailed how then-associate head coach Chuck Love allegedly took interest in the then-Cornhuskers player as the relationship turned sexual. Scoggin says in the suit it caused her to fear retaliation if she did not engage in it.

University of Nebraska spokesperson Melissa Lee said the school was made aware of the lawsuit on Monday.

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Ashley Scoggin in 2022

Nebraska’s Ashley Scoggin, #0, plays against Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz, File)

“While the University does not comment on the specifics of pending litigation, it does not agree with the allegations contained in the complaint and intends to vigorously defend this matter,” Lee said.

Williams declined to comment to the AP, and Alberts and Love did not respond.

Scoggin played for Nebraska during the 2020-21 and 2021–22 seasons before she was eventually dismissed from the team in February 2022. She now plays at UNLV. She was dismissed from the team the same day Love was suspended with pay. He resigned three months later.

The lawsuit named Love, Williams, Albert and the school’s Board of Regents as defendants.

Williams is still the head coach at Nebraska. Alberts signed an eight-year contract extension with the school in November 2023.

The Oregon native started her internship in Nebraska’s athletic department in the summer of 2021, expressing interest in one day becoming a coach herself. Love invited Scoggin to work at a table in his office and she accepted. The lawsuit says Love, who was married, began to ask her out for drinks, and she eventually accepted the invitation.

According to the suit, they met at a Costco parking lot where Love kissed her and asked, “Have you ever done anything with a coach before?” The alleged interaction left the player feeling “confused and trapped” because “it was now undeniable that Love wanted a sexual relationship.”

Chuck Love speaks to players

Nebraska associate head coach Chuck Love speaks to players from the sideline as they play against Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz, File)

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The relationship allegedly turned sexual, and Scoggin claimed in the lawsuit that Love expected her to be “available and willing” whenever he wanted to have sex and summoned her to his hotel room when the team was on the road.

The lawsuit detailed how the team found out about the relationship.

Scoggin’s teammates and practice players allegedly created a ruse to confirm her relationship with Love and videotape it. According to the suit, a male practice player falsely claimed he was Love to a desk clerk at a hotel they were staying in and obtained a key card. Two team members then confronted Scoggin in Love’s room and told Williams what they discovered and videotaped.

“Williams cast Ashley in the role of a seducer and a liar,” the lawsuit says. “She allowed the players to berate and accuse Ashley for hours. She did not redirect or counsel the players that what they had seen may be the result of an abuse of power by her associate head coach.”

Scoggin says in the suit that when she returned to Lincoln, Nebraska, she was not informed of her rights under Title IX, while Williams and other officials said she was off the team.

“NU, Williams and Alberts were motivated to avoid scandal and embarrassment to the Cornhuskers women’s basketball program instead of being motivated to protect its student-athlete, Ashley,” the lawsuit says.

“NU, Williams and Alberts allowed the speculation and perception to fester that Ashley was ‘equally to blame’ or otherwise had done something improper when they should have sent a clear message that it is always improper for a professional coach to pursue a sexual relationship with a student-athlete.”

Ashley Scoggin in 2020

Nebraska guard Ashley Scoggin, #0, dribbling the ball against Creighton during an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska. (AP Photo/John Peterson, File)

Scoggin is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damaged for the alleged violations of her civil rights.

“It’s a very troubling and serious subject of predatory coaches that pursue sexual relationships with student-athletes,” Maren Chaloupka, Scoggin’s attorney, said Monday. “There’s an enormous imbalance of power between the professional coach and student-athletes. This is something that was well known in 2022.

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Certainly Division I universities that operate at the top level are well aware of the harm that comes from this kind of a predatory situation, and there’s a strong onus on the university and on the coaches to prevent this from happening and, heaven forbid it does happen, to address (it) correctly.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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