Volleyball coach fired, escorted off campus
Robin Lamott Sparks, Quinnipiac’s volleyball head coach and a public relations professor, has been fired from the university, according to two anonymous sources in the athletics department.
The university confirmed that Sparks is not the volleyball coach anymore, but did not specify why or if she was fired.
One of the sources in the athletics department said Sparks was escorted off campus.
“It was in their best interest (to fire Sparks),” one anonymous source said, referring to the athletics department.
Kurt Wise, chairperson of public relations, spoke to Sparks’ sports public relations class Monday night and said that Sparks was no longer employed by the university.
“Robin Sparks will not be teaching for the rest of the semester,” Wise said to the class. “This is not health-related. She no longer works at the university. Do I know why? No. Was I told why? No. I received a phone call saying she won’t be teaching this class [so] you need to find someone who will.”
Sparks’ name had been removed from her office in Athletic Center 213 before Friday. On the volleyball page on the athletics website, the coaches tab was listed as “TBA” Wednesday night.
The athletic department had no comment on Sparks’ firing.
The Bobcats were 20-133 in five seasons with Sparks at the helm and posted a 4-25 record this season.
“She didn’t do a lot for the program,” one of the sources said.
Sparks was in charge of the team when the university planned to cut the volleyball program before the 2010 season and make competitive cheer a sport, but a federal judge reinstated the team after he ruled that the university was not complying with Title IX rules to cut the team.
One source said Title IX had nothing to do with the decision to fire Sparks.
UPDATE (9:00 p.m., Feb. 14): Bushnell said that the firing is “completely unrelated to the Title IX lawsuit.”
“The university will be hiring a new coach and is making every effort to minimize any potential disruption to the volleyball team,” Bushnell said.
Sparks had recruited two players for the 2012 season and the Northeast Conference awarded the team with the 2011 Sportsmanship Award.