UPDATED: Towson football coach accused of misreporting practice hours
Current and former Towson football players have alleged that Head Coach Rob Ambrose inaccurately reported team practice times in logs he submitted to the Office of Compliance.
Trevor Walker, an inactive linebacker, and another former player who spoke under the condition of anonymity, accused Ambrose of submitting the incorrect practice logs in a letter to the editor with 25 signatures of current and former players who wished to be kept anonymous.
Ambrose sent a text message to the team Wednesday Oct. 24 that read “If you knowingly or unknowingly signed Trevor’s petition and you regret it you need to come forward before your name is published. There will be no punishment.”
The Towerlight informed all players prior to conducting interviews that all names would be kept anonymous for their protection.
Ambrose is required by NCAA standards to submit full records of any training the team does including team practice, strength and conditioning, competition among the teams, films and meetings.
On Sunday, Aug. 12 a schedule dated Aug. 1 that was distributed to the football team states that the defensive line lifted weights while offensive line performed a “walk through,” or assignment review, from 10:30 – 11:20 a.m. Then from 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., the lines switched activities.
Later, from 2-2:30 p.m, special teams met and from 2:40 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 7:15 – 8:45 p.m., position meetings occurred.
This totals more than five hours, but on the log, Ambrose reported only three and a half hours of daily activity.
On Tuesday, Aug. 28, Ambrose recorded four hours of daily activity. The schedule, however, states that from 8:30 – 8:50 a.m. special teams met, 9 – 9:50 a.m. the offensive lines met and the defensive line performed a “walk through.” From 10 – 10:50 a.m., the two lines switched activities.
From 2 – 2:30 p.m. special teams met again, and from 2:40 – 3:20 p.m. and 8:45 – 9:45 p.m. position meetings occurred. A taping also occurred at 1:15 p.m and a team meeting occurred at 8:15 p.m.
This totals over five hours.
Ambrose said that all logs he submitted were factual.
Walker said that both Ambrose and Defensive Coordinator Matt Hachmann consistently disrespect members of the team to the point of crossing an ethical and professional boundary.
Walker said that Hachmann used crude and disrespectful language in an exchange that occurred around Oct. 14. Walker said he approached Hachmann about receiving more playing time, but that the defensive coordinator reacted harshly, cursing and ordering him to leave his office.
Ambrose refused to comment, referring all inquires about the incident to the President’s office.
Jennifer Gajewski, the chief of staff with the president’s office, said in an emailed statement that the president’s office, the Faculty Athletics Representative and the Deputy Director of Athletics conducted an investigation into the allegations.
“The investigation included but was not limited to: unplanned practice observations, review of football student-athlete exit-interviews, and sports medicine reports,” the statement reads. “No findings suggested that the well-being and welfare of our student-athletes were placed in jeopardy. We will continue to uphold the values of the institution and appreciate the department of Athletics swift action to address this student-athlete’s concern.”
Athletics Director Mike Waddell said that the Office of Compliance also conducted an investigation.
“No improprieties regarding practice times were found and no findings indicated that the physical well-being of football student-athletes was placed in jeopardy,” Waddell said in an email. “As a matter of departmental protocol, the language that was reportedly used between the coaches and student-athletes would not be in line with the core values of Towson University and Towson Athletics. This is being addressed with all parties involved, coaches, staff and student-athletes.”
“Coaches yell at you but that stuff is behind closed doors,” the player said. “I personally have seen him on specific players. I never went through anything like that.”
These accusations come off the heels of Saturday’s game against Old Dominion, in which star running back Terrance West did not play.
West tweeted, “It’s been good Towson !!!!!,” which sparked rumors he might transfer to another institution.
Ambrose said he met with West Monday, but that the tweet was not a topic of conversation and that West is still on the team.
West refused to comment.
The Towerlight is investigating these allegations and will update this story as more information becomes available.