Without delving into specifics of allegations that have been made against his basketball coach, Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury gave a solid endorsement of coach Josh Pastner on Monday in a recording of a podcast with AJC columnist Jeff Schultz and WSB-TV sports director Zach Klein.
“I don’t want to say much about this because so much of it is ongoing reviews or investigation or whatever, but I am still bullish on Josh,” Stansbury said. “I think he’s a great coach and a great person.”
Given the gravity of the claims being made against Pastner, Stansbury’s evaluation of his coach would not seem idle praise.
In a lawsuit filed last Thursday, Pastner was alleged to have sexually assaulted an Arizona woman, Jennifer Pendley, more than a dozen times, claims that Pastner vehemently denied. The lawsuit was a response to one filed by Pastner against Pendley and her boyfriend Ron Bell that alleged defamation, extortion and blackmail and attacked Bell’s credibility.
In a CBS Sports article in November, Bell claimed that Pastner knew about and tacitly encouraged Bell to provide impermissible benefits to his players. Bell’s actions ultimately resulted in the suspension of two players, Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie, for three and six games, respectively. In his lawsuit, Pastner contended that when the NCAA and Tech did not determine wrongdoing on his part, that Bell and Pendley then brought forward the allegations of sexual assault.
Pastner denied the claims following Tech’s game against Louisville last Thursday, saying there was “zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero truth to any of those disgusting, bogus allegations.”
Last Friday, Tech opened what it termed an “outside, independent” investigation into the charges. In the podcast, Stansbury said that, in light of the allegations, “we’re going to run a transparent review of all of that, just like we would any employee on campus.”