I am surprised this story is not blowing up more than it has, but I hope it makes more national recognition. Props to SB Nation and Barstool Sports for following up on this regarding the Coppin State basketball scandal, which we posted a video about below:

It is a crazy situation and something that has not been seen in the college basketball (or NCAA in general) world—to our knowledge. 

SB Nation has a short recap of the situation: 

Former Eagle Ibn Williams claims that he was catfished by a former teammate who later joined the Coppin State coaching staff. Allegedly the teammate, Lucian Brownlee, posed as a woman and got Williams to send some explicit nudies. Williams alleges that he was then blackmailed and ultimately forced to give oral sex to Brownlee.

Williams also alleges regular drug use by Coppin State players, and, given his personal history - his parents were both heroin addicts who died of AIDS - and his ties to Maryland where the memory of Len Bias still haunts the program.

Barstool also put together a recap timeline of the events:

FALL 2018:

-During his freshman season with Coppin State, player Ibn Williams claims a woman reached out via social media and the two began an online relationship. The 'woman' convinced him to send sexual photos. He did so, believing the photos would stay between the two of them.

-Once he sent the photos, the 'woman' told Williams he was being blackmailed. Basically, if he didn't follow their demands, they would release the photos.

-Williams was desperate to appease the blackmailer. Keep in mind, this is a young student thinking his college ride, housing, future, etc. is all on the line, let alone the shame/embarrassment that comes with scenarios like this. 

Here's where it gets even worse...

SPRING 2019:

-A senior on the team, Lucian Brownlee, tells Williams that he, too, is being blackmailed. 

-The blackmailer then began constantly contacting Williams, harassing him with messages saying he must "engage in sexual encounters” with Brownlee, who was now an alumni who coached on the team. Ex: Demanding Williams to send a recording of oral sex with Brownlee.

-According to the lawsuit, “In the face of the threat of exposure and loss of his position in the basketball program and its financial support, and with the insistence and urging of Coach Brownlee, Plaintiff acquiesced." Basically, Williams felt backed into a corner, was embarrassed & terrified, and so he did what he thought was his only option to save his future. All the while, Brownlee was encouraging this line of thought & pretending to be in the same boat with him.

-The threats & harassment from the blackmailer continued, and now they had even more blackmail. Williams figures out that it is coach Brownlee.

-Eventually Williams tells his family that team members are engaging in 'inappropriate behavior' including blatant/unchecked drug use, but does not mention the blackmail situation he's in. I think this was his way of trying to get some sort of help without having to disclose the painful truth.

SUMMER 2020:

-Williams and his father take this info to head coach Juan Dixon, former NBA star who is also part of Real Housewives of the Potamac (uh, yes, we know who Juan Dixon is, Kate). According to the lawsuit, Dixon “indicated that he was helpless to address the drug issue in any meaningful way." Dixon convinces Williams to stay on the team.

FALL 2020:

-The blackmailer - AKA Brownlee - simply won't stop & goes into overdrive with harassment & requests again. This time, when Williams doesn't appease him, Brownlee makes good on his threats & releases some of the blackmail materials to the public and members of the Coppin State basketball team.

-Allegedly, Dixon admits to Williams that Brownlee is nuts & unstable (I'm paraphrasing here), and that the school and the athletic director also knew about Brownlee having a very bad history. Dixon also admits this to Williams' father and brother in a later phone call. (If I were into gambling I'd be willing to bet Williams is not the only victim of Brownlee out there and that - as is often the case when there's a scumbag coach - a whole lot of people were turning a blind eye to it.)

Here's the conclusion via The Banner, where Coppin State fails miserably:

-Williams asked Coppin State to conduct a review of the harassment, sexual assault and blackmail, but that process caused him further emotional distress, the lawsuit alleges. He was questioned about his past sexual experiences and sexual orientation, according to the complaint.

-The lawsuit also asserts that the university terminated Williams’ financial assistance for housing and tuition without explanation or cause.

It is an unfortunate situation, and I hope a resolution and justice get brought soon.  


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