Oakland Says Beckie Francis Fired for Mentally Abusing Players


(from USA Today, November 11, 2013) Beckie Francis was Oakland University’s women’s basketball Head Coach until she was fired from her position on June 12 of this year for allegedly mentally and emotionally abusing her players. Francis’ role as head coach has since been filled, but the issue is anything but resolved and brings up the question of ethics in the workplace. Last week, Beckie Francis filed a motion to obtain an unredacted copy of the internal investigation report that led to her firing.

Francis was given a redacted version of that report and attended two meetings with the university in which Oakland explained to her the reasons they were concerned, listened to her responses and then terminated her employment. Nevertheless, Francis and her attorney believe it is her right to see the report in its original state before any changes were made. Mrs. Francis’ attorney released an official statement:

                    “Whether she was told or knew something is not remotely the point of what I am requesting. First, we don’t agree that they gave her any specifics; second, so what if they did ‘tell’ her? That has zero to do with an employee obtaining a copy of her record, including what the employer relied on for terminating her, per Michigan law. They choose to do an investigation, create a written report and thrown vague allegations around in public, so it is what it is. She needs to know what is in that report, not what they say or supposedly told her.”

Also, Mrs. Francis does not agree that she mental or emotionally abused her players. In her words, she was shocked by the accusations and describes the situation as a “witch hunt.” The university, however, is on the complete opposite side. Oakland found the claims from former and current players were correct which is the reason she was fired. Also, Oakland University hopes to not be required to release the unredacted version of the investigation report to Mrs. Francis because they want to conceal the identity of the student athletes in the report.

The judicial system will have to determine whether Beckie Francis have the right to see her file and the original investigation report from Oakland University or the university is doing the right thing by trying to conceal the identities of the students in the report.