Larry Eustachy's conduct scrutinized by Colorado State for second time

Colorado State officials are conducting another internal investigation into men's basketball coach Larry Eustachy's conduct with players, assistant coaches and other staff members, athletics director Joe Parker confirmed on Wednesday.

It is the second time in four years that Colorado State officials have interviewed players and others about Eustachy's behavior. A 2013-14 investigation alleged that he created a "culture of fear and intimidation" and emotionally abused his players, according to the 90-page report completed by former Rams athletics director Jack Graham.

"We have started a climate assessment, which involves conversations with the students and staff members associated with the men's basketball program," Parker said in a statement on Wednesday. "As always, we will not make any public comments until our process is complete and have no additional information to share at this time."

Justin Michael, a former sports editor with Colorado State's student newspaper, first reported details about the ongoing investigation on Wednesday. Citing multiple sources, Michael reported that the "vast majority of players spoke out against Eustachy in their interviews."

Eustachy's contract with the school, which pays him about $985,000, expires after the 2020-21 season.

Graham, who hired Eustachy in 2012, recommended that Colorado State fire him after the initial investigation in 2014. But the school instead required Eustachy to attend anger management sessions and apologize to his team. Eustachy also was given a zero-tolerance policy in regard to his behavior toward players, and he was told that a violation would result in his termination for cause.

"I believed Eustachy should be terminated and believed we had the basis to terminate for cause," Graham told the Associated Press in February 2017, after details of the 2013-14 investigation were released by the Coloradoan. "I was advised by [Colorado State president] Tony Frank that we did not have the basis to terminate for cause and that Eustachy was to be placed on a personal improvement plan."

According to documents obtained by the Coloradoan, Eustachy admitted that he had told his assistant coaches to "shut the f--- up" and called players "f---ing c--ts." He also acknowledged he "crossed the line" and later said he went "way over the line" when he was asked whether the atmosphere in his program was one of fear and intimidation. The investigation also revealed that Eustachy punched and broke dry-erase boards in locker rooms and threw unopened soda cans against walls.

When details of the 2013-14 report were released by the Coloradoan nearly a year ago, Eustachy said in a statement: "I am deeply disappointed on a very personal level that someone chose to publicize confidential information from my personnel file. That said, I fully recognize that I'm not perfect. I have my faults and strive every day to be better than I was yesterday."

Eustachy, 62, was named the AP Coach of the Year after leading Iowa State to a 32-5 record and Elite Eight appearance in 1999-2000. He resigned as the Cyclones' coach on May 5, 2003, a week after the Des Moines Register published photos of him kissing young women and holding a beer at a party near Missouri's campus. After Iowa State officials had earlier suspended Eustachy with pay, he apologized for his behavior and admitted entering rehab for alcohol.

After a year out of coaching, Southern Miss hired Eustachy before the 2004-05 season. The Golden Eagles went 142-113 in his eight seasons at the school.

Eustachy has a 121-73 record in his sixth season at Colorado State, which is tied for the second-most victories in school history. He guided the Rams to a 26-9 record and second round of the NCAA tournament in his first season in 2012-13. They have reached the NIT twice in the previous four seasons.

Colorado State is 10-13, and 3-7 in the Mountain West Conference, heading into Wednesday night's game against Wyoming.