USC Upstate moves to Big South Conference

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Officials at University of South Carolina Upstate announced the dismissal of both the University’s Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach on Thursday.

Per a release by University Chancellor Brendan B. Kelly, Athletic Director Julio Freire and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kyle Perry were both let go as part of the University’s strategic plan, Up. Together: USC Upstate Strategic Plan 2018-2023.“It is on this basis that I am writing to you today to inform you of my decision to make a change in USC Upstate Athletics. You recently heard our announcement about moving to the Big South Conference. Prior to making this transition, and after a great deal of review of our current operations in athletics, we will be making changes in the Athletics Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach positions within USC Upstate Athletics. We appreciate the efforts of Julio Freire and Kyle Perry in their respective roles at USC Upstate and wish them well in their future endeavors,” Kelly said in the release.He said they will immediately launch a search for a new Director of Athletics and new coach for Men’s Basketball. Until one is found, Kelly has asked South Carolina Executive Associate Athletic Director Jeff Crane to serve as the interim athletic director at USC Upstate.

“These actions, I believe, put us into a position to be successful moving forward and help to ensure that USC Upstate measures its success through the enhancement of students, operational outcomes and best practices in program management,” Kelly’s release continued.

Officials at the university confirm Freire is involved in an investigation stemming from a complaint made by Head Volleyball Coach Jennifer Calloway. The details of the complaint were not disclosed, however, officials say due to the complaint a new reporting structure was put in place to where Calloway would be reporting to the associate athletic director, Chris Hawkins.

Officials said Freire was advised that there would be no meeting between him and Calloway without ”multiple personnel” present, and the primary communication would be written with several people receiving copies.“Any time that we receive a complaint, we follow a very formal process and those matters are referred to the Equal Opportunity Program in Columbia for inquiry and investigation. At the time of Mr. Freire’s termination, an inquiry is still pending. Both Mr. Freire and Mr. Perry were terminated without cause as the University moves USC Upstate Athletics into a position to be successful,” Communications Officer Carolyn Shanesy said in an email to FOX Carolina.Freire was just hired into the athletic director position last July, his first day was August 1. Perry was hired as head coach in October 2017.

Stick with FOX Carolina for the latest on this developing story.

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