staff, August 3, 2015

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Illinois announced Monday that an outside investigation into the women's basketball program has concluded and found that allegations of racism are unsupported.

[ MORE: Read the full report (PDF) ]

The investigation, conducted by the law firm of Pugh, Jones & Johnson, included a review of more than 18,000 documents, 33 interviews, the statements of eight former players, and review of game and practice video footage.

Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise said she supports the investigation's findings based on the information that was available. She said the campus will implement its recommendations as quickly as possible.

"We find any allegations troubling, because they don't reflect our values," Wise said. "Student-athletes are part of our Illinois family, and we want to ensure that their experiences are fulfilling, and that they are able to work toward an Illinois degree and prepare for lives of leadership and impact.

"Going forward, we must ensure that our coaches and staff members have a clearer understanding of our core values and expectations, and that our student-athletes never ever feel they have nowhere to go when they have concerns."

The university initiated the investigation after some former players and their parents made specific allegations. Some of the families have filed a lawsuit against the university.

Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas said he is committed to correcting the problems pointed out in the external report and ensuring that the university protects its student-athletes.

"Our number one priority is the well-being and health of our students," he said. "We are implementing positive changes across our athletic department that we believe will become part of the best practices for other schools in the country in the coming years."

Read full release.