JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – After a Title IX investigation outlined allegations against East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Women’s Basketball Head Coach Simon Harris, his official letter of resignation was accepted by the university on Monday.
“Ultimately, I appreciate ETSU allowing me to be involved in this internal process,” Harris wrote in his letter. “I too believe a new start is the right path for ETSU and me.”
Harris thanked his former players in the letter, stating that he was committed to their development during and after his time at the school. He also wished future success for the team and added support for newly-appointed coach Brenda Mock Brown.
Harris, who reportedly punished players suspected of being in a same-sex relationship to the point of having their scholarships revoked and actions investigated by other players, stated that his actions were not motivated by hatred.
“I am and will always be an ally to the LGTBQ+ community,” Harris wrote. “And I do not want that to be lost or in any way misconstrued.”
In response to the letter, ETSU president Brian Noland offered his own statement:
“Earlier today, Mr. Simon Harris resigned as head women’s basketball coach,” Dr. Noland said. “I have accepted his resignation. On behalf of the university, we appreciate Mr. Harris working with us to resolve this situation so that we all, Mr. Harris and ETSU, can move forward in the best interest of our student-athletes.”
The university had previously stated that Harris would have the opportunity to appeal the decision.