Cal Poly Humboldt men’s basketball head coach Tae Norwood. | Screenshot from Cal Poly Humboldt Athletics video.


On Saturday, the Times-Standard published the first in a series of investigative stories from reporter Jake Matson chronicling allegations of abuse within Cal Poly Humboldt’s intercollegiate men’s basketball team.

The piece is well worth a read! Matson quotes several members of the team who say they were misled during recruiting, repeatedly subjected to verbal and emotional abuse from head coach Tae Norwood and made to practice for up to six hours per day, in violation of NCAA rules.

“Multiple players stated their mental health deteriorated over the course of the season, including two players who specifically stated they struggled with thoughts of suicide,” Matson reports.

Today the university released a statement saying it has “broadened” its investigation into reports of mistreatment, which obviously suggests that an inquiry was already under way prior to Saturday. The statement also says an outside firm has been hired to conduct an independent investigation.

Here’s the full statement:

Cal Poly Humboldt has broadened its investigation into reports of mistreatment of players as well as other misconduct within its intercollegiate men’s basketball program.

In addition to the inquiries being conducted by a number of campus units, including Intercollegiate Athletics, an outside firm is being retained to carry out an independent investigation.

While the length of these investigations cannot be known for certain, the University is committed to completing them quickly while also ensuring a comprehensive examination of issues that have been raised.

The well-being of the student-athletes is, as always, the top priority. All of the basketball student-athletes will continue to receive the full range of services and support they have been receiving within Intercollegiate Athletics and the University as a whole.

Any student-athlete seeking additional assistance is encouraged to contact the main Intercollegiate Athletics Office, speak to the Faculty Athletics Representative, or contact the Dean of Students Office. They may also access any of the range of support services across campus.

Lumberjack Basketball has a strong history of success in the classroom, on the court, and in the community. A focus on the well-being and development of the student-athletes has been a big part of that, and Cal Poly Humboldt is committed to continuing the legacy.

Cal Poly Humboldt values and supports all students, faculty, and staff, and seeks to maintain a positive learning environment for all. Numerous resources are available for reporting misconduct and for seeking support, including those listed below:

Reports of Title IX are handled using a process described here.

To report Title IX issues:

To talk with a confidential resource:

  • Campus Advocate Team (CAT) 24-Hour Hotline: (707) 445-2881 Campus Advocate Team Website
  • North Coast Rape Crisis Team 24-Hour hotline: (707) 445-2881 NCRCT Website
  • Humboldt Domestic Violence Services 24-Hour Hotline: (707) 443-6042 HDVS Website
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) 24-Hour Phone: (707) 826-3236 CAPS Website