SFA closes investigation on Ladyjacks coach, won't release findings

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Calling it "comprehensive," Stephen F. Austin State University officials say they have closed an investigation into allegations brought against the Ladyjacks basketball coach, Mark Kellogg.

The university will not release the findings of the investigation, citing federal laws.

SFA began the investigation in April. While not going into the allegations, one former player and another former player's father told KTRE they had accused Kellogg of being verbally abusive and a bully.

KTRE began inquiring about the outcome of the investigation in November, when basketball season had begun and Kellogg was still coaching the team. SFA Executive Director of Communications Shirley Luna said they would not comment on the outcome, saying it was not standard policy to comment on personnel issues.

KTRE then submitted an open records request for Kellogg's personnel file regarding the investigation, which the university denied, citing the Family Educational and Privacy Act. FERPA is a law which protects the privacy of student education records.

Damon Derrick, the general counsel for SFA, said the files could not even be redacted and released. He said the records were so full of confidential student information that even redacted records could reveal the identity of a student.

Derrick did release a statement on how the investigation took place:

"Stephen F. Austin State University conducted a comprehensive investigation into the allegations that were made. The investigation consisted of two phases. Phase One was conducted by a neutral administrator in the athletic department and involved interviews with more than twenty individuals who may have insight into the matter. For Phase Two, this information was turned over to an individual with substantial experience conducting investigations who is not associated with the athletic department. This person reviewed the entire investigatory file, additional information that was submitted, and conducted additional interviews. A report detailing the findings and recommendations was then submitted to the university president who accepted the conclusions of the investigation. Federal law prevents the university from disclosing specific information about the allegations or its findings, however Coach Kellogg remains the head coach of the Stephen F. Austin State University Ladyjacks."

Former player Charisma Alexander told KTRE back in April that she had her scholarship revoked after the 2015-2016 season. She said it came during a season in which Kellogg told her, "F--- you" during a practice in October. She said it happened in practice when someone on the team made a joke and Alexander said "Y'all know we can't laugh or else we get in trouble." She said Kellogg then said, "What is your f------ problem? F--- you!"

SFA would not confirm if the investigation is connected to Alexander, but Alexander had filed an appeal to get her scholarship back. Alexander did not reply to a text sent to her Friday regarding the close of the investigation.

Steve Middleton, the father of former player LaNesha Middleton, sent an email to KTRE in April, stating Kellogg is a bully. Middleton is a former Division I assistant basketball coach and a current high school coach at Midlothian High School. In the email, Middleton said his daughter's scholarship has also been revoked.

Middleton was not immediately available for comment Monday.

Attorneys for KTRE reached out to the Texas Attorney General's Office for a possible ruling on the FERPA claim. But a representative with the office said the AG's office does not review FERPA determinations.

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