University of Michigan head coach under investigation for serious accusations

C. Ritchie
August 3, 2022  (11:23)

Last season the University of Michigan looked like a lock to win the National Championship last season. With a roster that included multiple top NHL prospects like Matty Beniers, Brendan Brisson, Luke Hughes, Kent Johnson, and Owen Power, losing in the semi-final of the Frozen Four seemed like a disappointment. Now it seems like the team is in turmoil after allegations of abuse have come out against head coach Mel Pearson.

Pearson has been the head coach at Michigan since 2017. He is being accused of verbally abusing staff and players, as well as misleading recruits on their role with the team. It's alleged that Pearson created a hostile environment for everyone. There was also a strong fear of retaliation if anyone spoke up. Per reports, below are some of the allegations.
Pervasive fears among both student athletes and staff members of retaliation by (Pearson) for raising issues.

Hockey program members' "fear for retaliation" was noted in the WH report as the reason the athletic department and ECRT administered the anonymous climate survey in May 2021. That survey returned responses of a "toxic" climate and a head coach who several in the program felt was "problematic." According to responses to the survey, Pearson "berated" and "belittled" staff members and singled out players, yelling inappropriate comments at them.

Several respondents to the survey said Pearson misleads «recruits about the scholarship money they will receive, pushes players off the team each year by telling them they will not have a spot on the team, and then lies to the team about why the players left.»

Over recruiting is common practice in most NCAA sports. Players transfer all the time when they can't earn a spot. What is not common is scholarships being taken away while the players are still at the school. Berating staff in a way that makes them feel unsafe to go to work is troubling. As of right now there has been no discipline towards Mel Pearson and he remains head coach.
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