Former USF basketball guard Shaun Noriega accused former head coach Stan Heath and former athletic trainer and current Executive Deputy Director of Athletics and Chief Operating Officer Barry Clements, of misconduct during his time in Tampa.
Clements was the men’s basketball sports administrator during this period. Heath would report to Clements and Clements would report to the athletic director.
The thread from the former Bull began on Friday afternoon as people on Twitter, including ESPN’s Sarah Spain, were discussing Lavar Ball’s idea of starting his own basketball league for high school players who don’t want to go the college route.
Agree.My time @USFMBB I saw systematic academic cheating & flake classes that were pushed on us,over worked like slaves Stan Heath would often go over the practice and workout @NCAA limits with no regard for players health or future.— Shaun Noriega (@therealnoriega2) December 22, 2017
Further, @USFMBB team Dr. Charles Nofsinger didn’t even recommend surgery because he was getting pressured by Stan Heath and @BClementsUSF . It’s malpractice and it ended my career. No one is looking out for the players interest and future, only themselves to get that payday.— Shaun Noriega (@therealnoriega2) December 22, 2017
Dr. Nofsinger told me it would “heal naturally within weeks” and threw some multi vitamins at me and @BClementsUSF told me “a lot of players have these injuries and that I should play through it.” I complained of pain and they said that’s just “part of the healing process.”— Shaun Noriega (@therealnoriega2) December 22, 2017
Stan Heath told me I was “faking” it and @USouthFlorida threatened to sue me for defamation if I kept taking about it.— Shaun Noriega (@therealnoriega2) December 22, 2017
I finally got surgery after a Dr. without ulterior motives looked at it & was amazed I didn’t get surgery earlier. The @NCAA, universities and coaches are a cartel, make no mistake about it.— Shaun Noriega (@therealnoriega2) December 22, 2017
We’re really treated like race horses or not even, more like race dogs and this excludes the verbal, mental, physical abuse, degrading and denigrating that my teammates and I went through on a daily basis.— Shaun Noriega (@therealnoriega2) December 23, 2017
The thing is athletes don’t know they’re being abused and used while they’re in it, they think it’s just the way it is and don’t really think twice about it. Only until after you’re out you realize what a sham it all is and disgusted you let yourself be used like that.— Shaun Noriega (@therealnoriega2) December 23, 2017
All the while Stan Heath had a multi million dollar contract and was named big east coach of the year all on the backs of us players but they all would tell you he had nothing to do with our success, we ignored him and focused on each other.— Shaun Noriega (@therealnoriega2) December 23, 2017
Noriega claims in his series of tweets that:
- He witnessed “systematic academic cheating and flake classes that were pushed on the players”
- The players were overworked like “slaves” and that Heath would regularly go over NCAA practice and workout limits “with no regard for players health or future.”
- After sustaining a stress fracture in his foot, Heath and Clements tried to force him to play knowing his foot had a stress fracture.
- They denied paying for the surgery until he threatened litigation against them.
- Heath told Noriega he was faking it and the school threatened to sue him for defamation if the player kept talking about it.
- When he finally did have the surgery, he says the doctors wondered why he hadn’t gotten the surgery sooner.
These are all very explosive accusations against the university, Heath and Clements. And if true, they must be addressed accordingly.
To be noted, Noriega saw his playing time dip dramatically late in the 2011-2012 season, playing a combined 34 minutes in USF’s final eight games including the NCAA tournament.
Noriega played in eight games during the 2012-2013 season before the injury forced him to miss the rest of the season. He later transferred to UT-Pan American (now The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) as a grad transfer and suffered another stress fracture to the same foot in the same location.
His highlight at USF was going for 22 points against Villanova in the Big East tournament hitting six threes to help erase a 16-point deficit at halftime to knock off ‘Nova.
Noriega nor USF could be reached for comment.. because it’s Christmas Eve.
We will update the story with any further details.