URI renews contract of softball coach
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. —
The University of Rhode Island is renewing the contract of a controversial softball coach who's faced extensive allegations of mental and verbal abuse.
NBC 10 obtained a copy of the contract, which calls for Erin Layton to coach the team again next season. It's a one year deal, but extends through the 2017 season if the team finishes among the top 6 teams in the Atlantic 10 regular season, and qualifies for the postseason.
Layton has reached the post-season just once in her six year tenure, a sixth-place finish in 2010, and her overall record is 84-219-2.
In April, NBC 10 published an extensive investigation into the alleged mistreatment of both players and assistant coaches by Layton.
Alleged victims say they were threatened, verbally assaulted, and mentally mistreated in a variety of ways. In total, seven former players, two active players, and three former coaches have told NBC 10 that they were subject to various forms of harassment by Layton. Many also claimed that administrators were not receptive to, or failed to address, complaints.
However, the university has steadfastly supported Layton, claiming that all complaints were taken seriously and ultimately determined that no wrongdoing occurred.
Two additional former assistant coaches, as well as a former player, have reached out to NBC 10 since our story first aired.
Former assistant Kelsey Knapp claims she is still seeking therapy three years after leaving the program.
And another former assistant coach, who wished to remain anonymous, claims she was also mistreated. Among other incidents, she says Layton forced her to do her laundry, and intentionally trashed her birthday cake.