Beth Dunkenberger, the former coach of women’s hoops at Virginia Tech, is now director of basketball operations at Tulane. So on the eve of the recent Conference USA tournament – Dunkenberger’s Green Wave finished second – Mark Berman of the Roanoke Times wrote a Beth Revisited piece. Sounds pretty boilerplate, right? But then this story spilled out:
Dunkenberger coached the Hokies from 2004 to 2011. When Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the Tech campus on April 16, 2007, it was not the first time members of her team had become aware of him.
Dunkenberger said Cho “harassed a couple players” on her team during the 2005-06 school year. She did not name the two players.
“It was horrible,” she said. “I’m probably the only coach in America that’s ever kicked a mass murderer out of practice.
“I worry about [the two players] till this day… . It was hard for all of us to know that someone that crazy had been that close… . Everybody knew he was around.”
The two players and Cho had been in a fall 2005 writing class taught by professor Nikki Giovanni.
Cho was removed from the course because Giovanni was concerned about violence in Cho’s poetry and his behavior in class, including his behavior toward women in the class.
Dunkenberger said she had advised the players to talk to Giovanni about Cho.
“I said, ‘Go to Nikki first, and I’ll go higher than that if they don’t handle it,’” Dunkenberger said. “That will haunt me till the day I die. I’m thankful that the people that were close to me weren’t hurt, but I’m also haunted by that.”
Not much to say here except: Wow.