[Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify the depiction of the physical encounter. The spelling of Yancey’s name also has been corrected.]
A Texas assistant girls basketball coach has come forward with formal claims of sexual harassment by her former boss, now-former Plano East head girls basketball coach Cherilyn Morris.
As documented in an extensive investigative piece by DFW CBS affiliate, Alexann Yancey claims to be the subject of an extended campaign of sexual harassment from Morris, who resigned amidst an internal investigation. Yancey told Dallas-Fort Worth ABC affiliate WFAA that she was initially afraid to come forward, but felt obligated to upon deeper reflection after much of her support structure came forward to support her.
“Coaching isn’t a job for me; it’s a passion,” Yancey told WFAA. “I thought (the harassment) would just go away. Now I realize that’s ridiculous.”
Copies of the Plano district’s internal investigation, obtained by the Dallas Morning News and WFAA, show that the alleged harassment followed a physical encounter between the two coaches. While Morris claims that encounter was consensual, Yancey says she remembers nothing before waking up with Morris attempting to touch her in bed.
“I remember waking up, rolling over, and her trying to touch me,” Yancey told WFAA. “I got out of bed as quickly as I could.”
The physical incident allegedly started persistent text harassment, which was documented by WFAA. You can read examples of the messages here.
Yancey remains a teacher at Plano East, and now hopes that she can emerge as a role model for other young women who are targeted. In fact, she says she has just one regret from the entire incident with her former boss:
“I wasn’t strong. I wasn’t strong for them, myself or my family. I didn’t want them to think that someone they look up to didn’t have the will or the ability to say something,” she says.
“Don’t be scared like I was because the longer I held it in, the worse it got.”