Siena College has opened an investigation following accusations that women’s basketball head coach Jim Jabir made racially insensitive and misogynistic remarks, the college confirmed Thursday.
The Albany Times Union reported Thursday that in an email sent Wednesday night to Jabir, Siena athletic director John D’Argenio and school president Chris Gibson, the mother of former Siena player Simone Walker alleged multiple incidents of Jabir using racially insensitive and misogynistic language directed at players.
“We received the correspondence and take the accusations seriously,” D’Argenio said in a statement to The Daily Gazette. “We have immediately begun the college’s policy on investigating these matters, the first step of which was referring the matter to the college’s Title IX office.”
During a session Wednesday with area reporters, Jabir said that Walker and Rylee Carpenter — both walk-on players and Shenendehowa High School graduates — had departed the program. Walker had joined the Saints last season as a practice player, while Carpenter was in her first year with the team.
“I think the work that they were putting in didn’t equate to the time they thought they were going to get,” Jabir said Wednesday. “All good terms, nothing going on, they just thought they could use their time better.”
Carpenter and Walker did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday afternoon.
Though a Siena spokesman initially said that Jabir would coach the Saints in Thursday’s game against Rider, D’Argenio later announced in a statement that the coach will step away from the team while the investigation is ongoing. Assistant coach Terry Primm will coach the team on an interim basis.
“Coach Jabir has informed me that he believes it will be in the best interest of the program for him to step aside from coaching the team until this investigation is complete,” D’Argenio said in the statement. “He does not want to be a distraction to the student athletes, and I support him in this decision.”
The Saints were 6-5 overall and 0-1 in MAAC play heading into Thursday’s game against Rider in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Thursday’s development that Siena has started an investigation into Jabir marked the third such instance this year within the Capital Region’s Division I landscape. Previously, Union College men’s hockey head coach Rick Bennett resigned “follow[ing] an allegation about his coaching style and practices that was substantiated through an investigation,” while UAlbany men’s basketball head coach Dwayne Killings kept his job — but was suspended for five games and ordered to pay a fine — following an investigation that “substantiated” there was “inappropriate physical contact between Coach Killings and a student-athlete,” prior to a 2021-22 season game.
In November, the now-former UAlbany men’s basketball player — Luke Fizulich — filed a lawsuit in federal court against Killings, athletic director Mark Benson and the university.
Jabir is in the second season of his second stint as Siena’s head coach. He previously coached at Siena from 1987 to 1990, then coached at Marquette, Dayton and Florida Atlantic before returning to Siena to replace Ali Jaques. Jabir’s wife, Angie Jabir, currently serves as the Saints’ senior associate athletic director/senior woman administrator.
Siena finished 10-19 in Jabir’s first season back with the program. Prior to that, Jabir’s teams made eight NCAA tournament appearances, including when his 2014-15 Dayton squad lost to UConn in Albany with a spot in the Final Four on the line.
SAINTS CRUISE TO WIN
Emina Selimovic scored 16 and grabbed nine rebounds, and Siena outscored Rider 38-19 in the second half to get their first MAAC win of the season, 68-44 at Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrence Township, New Jersey.
Ahniysha Jackson added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Saints (1-1 MAAC, 7-5 overall). Anajah Brown and London Gamble each scored 11 points for Siena.
The Saints outrebounded the Broncs (0-3, 3-9) 53-38.
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