The Ole Miss softball team is being investigated for an alleged affair between a coach and student-athlete went public, according to the Running Poles podcast. 13 people confirmed to Running Poles that a Title IX investigation has been launched due to the allegations of assistant coach Katie Rietkovich Browder being involved with a player on the team. Athletic Director Keith Carter received a letter on July 29 that accused head coach Jamie Trachsel of “covering up a sexual misconduct scandal involving two super seniors and a female assistant coach.”
Running Poles said the letter stated that two seniors were in a relationship and one took screenshots of text messages exchanged between her girlfriend and their assistant coach. She printed out the screenshots and taped them to the coach’s computer in the office. Trachsel is accused of knowing about the affair and bring the players involved with scholarship money.
Based on these new allegations,” the letter read, “Head Coach Jamie Trachsel has now violated NCAA Bylaw for Unethical Conduct and the Conduct of Athletic Personal Responsibility of the Head Coach.” Running Poles also received a formal complaint that was sent to the offices of Ole Miss Equal Opportunity and Regulation, Southeastern Conference Compliance and NCAA Academic and Membership Affairs on May 10.
A former Minnesota student-athlete who played for Trachsel in 2019 spoke to Running Poles and talked about her experience. “Honestly, it was in spite of her that we made it to the Women’s College World Series that year,” she said. “The most heartbreaking part about it was that we would win and win and win then we would just sigh and wonder what was going to happen with our coach because nobody was going to hear us if we kept winning.” The player, who remained anonymous, said her teammates at the time complained to Athletic Director Mark Coyle about the mental abuse Trachsel put them through.
This is not the first time Ole Miss softball has been under fire. According to USA Today, former head coach Mike Smith left in December 2019 after being place on administrative leave so the school could conduct a “non-financial, external audit” of the program. He was also suspended at the start of the 2019 season for undisclosed reasons.