HONOLULU — Chaminade assistant men’s basketball coach Mike Mathey has resigned after sending a text message to a player containing a racial slur.
The tiny Catholic university in Hawaii that hosts the high-profile Maui Invitational every year on Thursday said it has accepted Mathey’s resignation and denounced his actions. Mathey, of Prospect, Ohio, was in his first season at Chaminade.
“Mike decided it was in his best interest and the interest of the team that he should resign immediately, and we have accepted his resignation,” Silverswords coach Eric Bovaird said in a statement. “Inappropriate text messaging and the use of racial biased language is not something that will be tolerated neither by me nor by Chaminade University.”
The 2,700-student university, which prides itself as having one of the nation’s most diverse campuses, said it took immediate steps to place the coach on administrative leave after the text, sent in error last weekend, was reported to school officials.
“I am very proud of the fact that we have a very diverse team from various countries and different backgrounds. We stand united together and will move forward as a team,” Bovaird said.
Hawaii News Now, which was the first to report the coach being placed on leave, reported that Mathey intended to send the text to a friend, but mistakenly sent it to the player.
The school told the Associated Press that the slur was the N-word. The player was not identified.
“We believe that we handled this unfortunate situation swiftly, fairly and respectively to all parties involved,” Chaminade athletic director Bill Villa said. “The team and coaches have done an admirable job of supporting and comforting each other, working through this adversity and re-focusing on their goals and mission. I’m very proud of them.”
The Division II Silverswords hosts the Maui Invitational, which regularly draws some of the top teams in the country every year. Last month, Duke defeated Kansas in the title game.
Chaminade’s basketball program is best known for beating Ralph Sampson’s top-ranked Virginia 77-72 in 1982 in one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history. Chaminade was an 800-student NAIA school at that time and didn’t even have its own gymnasium.