Former Vandy basketball player accuses women’s assistant coach of sexual assault in lawsuit

The player offered Vanderbilt to address the claims, however, according to the lawsuit, the university’s response was insufficient.
The lawsuit claims the player confronted the coach over Facetime about the abuse and realized that the coach knew she had taken advantage of and abused her.
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 2:05 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A former player for Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team has accused a former assistant coach of sexually assaulting her in a lawsuit against the university and the coach.

The former player, “Jane Doe,” in the lawsuit claims that due to Vanderbilt’s failures to implement and enforce policies to identify and prevent sexual assault of its student-athletes, she was groomed, exploited, sexually harassed and sexually abused by assistant coach Victoria R. Picott.

In Fall 2022, the lawsuit claims the player confronted Picott over FaceTime about the abuse. The former player claims that Picott knew she had taken advantage of and abused her.

Shortly thereafter, the player reached out to Vanderbilt saying she had been groomed, sexually harassed, isolated, intimidated and ultimately sexually assaulted by Picott and requested the university conduct an internal investigation, according to the lawsuit.

The player offered Vanderbilt to address the claims, however, according to the lawsuit, the university’s response was insufficient.

According to the suit, the player is seeking for the university to “modify, implement and/or enforce policies and practices that are considered consensus best practices to protect student-athletes from grooming, exploitation, sexual harassment and sexual abuse by athletic department personnel now and in the future.”

She’s also seeking compensation for having been subjected to the sexual assault, according to the suit.

The suit is claiming the following counts against the university and Picott unless noted otherwise:

  • Title IX Sex Discrimination
  • Breach of Contract (against Vanderbilt)
  • Negligence (against Vanderbilt)
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty (against Vanderbilt)
  • Battery
  • Assault
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Negligent Hiring and Supervision (against Vanderbilt)
  • Negligent Retention (against Vanderbilt)

Vanderbilt University released the following statement:

“We take our responsibility to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct seriously. Our policies cover sexual relationships between students and between students and university employees.

Our efforts to prevent sexual misconduct begin before our students arrive on campus and continue thereafter. Through our policies and the combined efforts of our Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Support, Title IX Office and Student Affairs, students have access to an array of prevention and support resources and receive comprehensive training on their options for reporting misconduct. We also train faculty and staff on reporting incidents and supporting students in distress.

These areas also work together to track patterns, evaluate the scope of a problem, and develop appropriate campus-wide responses. They also work closely with Athletics to ensure student-athletes and Athletic department staff are aware of our policies and university resources for support and reporting incidents of misconduct.

To encourage students to report sexual misconduct, we foster a culture of reporting and have several ways to do so, including confidentially and anonymously. We are committed to confronting and combating this societal problem, and to providing members of our community with the resources and support they need and deserve.”

You can read the full lawsuit below: