ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Coach Carla Tejas will remain the women’s soccer coach at UTPB and will resume coaching duties immediately, the university said in a statement after they completed a more than four-month-long investigation into her conduct.
Tejas has been on paid administrative leave since Oct. 2 when allegations surfaced of her misconduct in a lengthy email of grievances sent from anonymous players. The players sent those grievances to the NCAA, the Lone Star Conference, UTPB and our newsroom.
In a statement, UTPB said the investigators only found one claim to be credible, which was that Tejas continued coaching in a game in which she had been suspended due to a red card violation. The statement says disciplinary action will take place for this verified claim.
Not mentioned in the statement was the allegation that Tejas was allowing an ineligible player from Uraguay to play. The Lone Star Conference found this claim to be true and punished UTPB by nullifying their points earned in conference games, putting the Lady Falcons in last place in the conference at the end of the season.
Since the allegations against Tejas surfaced, numerous former players and parents and coaches of former players of Tejas have come forward privately to KMID, corroborating the claims made in the list of grievances.
The reaction has been adverse to the University’s announcement that Tejas will resume her coaching duties.
UTPB football player Hayden Kelly tweeted, “Winners win”, in reference to Tejas being cleared.
A former employee with UTPB Athletics told KMID “There have been a lot of people that have not been retained since Todd Dooley became the athletic director that were very well thought of in the community.” They went on to say, “Tejas was hired by Dooley so maybe that makes it easier to overlook some things.”
Also absent from being acknowledged in the statement was Tejas’ DWI arrest on Sept. 11. Tejas was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Odessa and had a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit, according to arrest reports.
Following her arrest, a group of students came forward with their concerns and said they were worried the University was trying to “sweep her arrest under the rug”. At that time, Dooley released a statement saying UTPB was aware of the arrest and said the University could not comment further because of the ongoing legal matter.
Through the four-month investigation, sources close to the situation have said the players were left in the dark about the status of the investigation for months. The University did not provide updates when KMID reached out, and declined to have a press conference on their announcement when asked.
KMID has requested documents on the investigation from the University’s public records office.