Utah Tech women’s basketball coach receives suspension after investigation into misconduct allegations

After more than 20 current and former players accused JD Gustin of misconduct, he will sit out the Trailblazers’ games at New Hampshire and Stonehill College this week.

(Joe Buglewicz | The New York Times) Utah Tech coach JD Gustin watches during a practice in St. George on April 1, 2021.

Utah Tech women’s basketball coach JD Gustin has been suspended for two games by the university following an investigation into allegations of misconduct.

After a private investigator hired by parents of Utah Tech players submitted a report to the university in May alleging that Gustin bullied, physically intimidated, and retaliated against players dating back to 2018, a dozen women subsequently spoke to The Tribune to share similar accusations against Gustin. Some of them also alleged multiple complaints made to athletic department personnel and university administrators over the years had been ignored.

Utah Tech hired a Boise-based consulting firm that does workplace investigations, BestDay HR, to review the complaints.

University spokesperson Jyl Hall confirmed to The Tribune this week both that the investigation has concluded and that Gustin received a two-game suspension as a result.

“Utah Tech University has received the summary findings of the third-party investigation looking into the allegations against Coach JD Gustin, and it has been determined that he will continue to serve as the head coach of the women’s basketball team,” read a statement provided to The Tribune. “The University is in the process of addressing the findings from the summary and using those findings to improve our Women’s Basketball program moving forward.”

When asked if there were any other components to Gustin’s punishment, Hall issued another statement, saying, in part, that the university “does not provide details concerning personnel matters.”

Several former players told The Tribune in recent months they were hopeful that the totality of the accusations against Gustin would be enough to have him removed from the job he’s held since 2016.

The private investigator’s original report to Utah Tech included more than 20 current and former players and assistant coaches anonymously alleging a wide range of misconduct against Gustin. The Tribune spoke to some of those individuals and several others, whose accusations included him shattering clipboards, overturning chairs, kicking basketballs, and routinely ejecting random players from practices in fits of rage.

Some also alleged that Gustin gave unsolicited back rubs and shoulder massages, and made comments about players’ bodies and sex lives, which they said made them feel uncomfortable.

Two former players claimed that Gustin pulled their full-ride scholarships and kicked them off the team after discovering that they had made official complaints about his behavior.

Gustin coached in the Trailblazers’ 84-75 loss at Texas A&M-Commerce on Monday, but will not coach the remainder of the team’s road trip, sitting out Wednesday at New Hampshire and Saturday at Stonehill College in North Easton, Mass.