More parents have come forward this week to allege that their daughters were harassed by Delaware State University women’s basketball coach Tamika Louis.

More parents have come forward this week to allege that their daughters were harassed by Delaware State University women’s basketball coach Tamika Louis.

Delaware resident Jimia Redden said she repeatedly reached out to the coach and Candy Young, the school’s athletic director, last year, and again earlier this year, regarding her concerns over the coach’s treatment of players.

Gary and Trisha Thornton of Texas, whose daughter Alexis played at DSU from 2011 to 2013, said they sent a seven-page email to school officials in Feb. 2013, expressing their concerns about Louis’ treatment of their daughter.

“We were very concerned for her safety,” Trisha Thornton said Thursday.

Redden and the Thorntons said school officials told them their complaints would be investigated.

But it wasn’t until another parent raised issues with Louis’ conduct in a letter sent to DSU President Harry Lee Williams this week that the coach’s duties were reassigned as part of a formal investigation.

That letter accused Louis of using “harassment, intimidation, and threats to keep the players quiet about her dehumanizing behavior.”

The Dover Post first broke the news of the letter’s existence and the school’s formal investigation on Tuesday.

DSU spokesman Carlos Holmes said Thursday that the only allegations that have been formally investigated are those mentioned in the letter sent this week.

“According to our athletic administrators, which includes the athletic director, during the tenure [of the women’s head basketball coach], there has been nothing that has risen to the level of an investigation,” he said.

Holmes said all complaints are “looked into” but not all are formally investigated.

He said the letter sent to the president this week contained serious allegations.

“The allegations that your newspaper printed are serious allegations and they are allegations that could be considered Title IX violations so it behooves us to investigate them,” Holmes said, referring to the federal law that prohibits education programs receiving federal funds from discriminating based on the basis of sex.

Yet Jimia Redden whose daughter Coreenah, was a walk-on player for DSU until last year, provided the Post with emails in which she raised concerns over Louis’ conduct with the coach as early as December 2013.

Jimia Redden first contacted the coach in an email dated Dec. 10. She said she finally heard back from Louis on New Year’s Eve and they talked by phone. She said she told Louis then that her daughter felt intimidated by Louis.

She said she thought the issue was resolved after that conversation, but things didn’t improve.

She said she then contacted Young about her concerns and was told she and her daughter would need to meet with Mary Hill, the university’s associate athletic director.

While they tried to make arrangements to meet with Hill, Jimia Redden again contacted Young by email due to her growing concerns.

“It’s to the point I feel Coach Louis is harassing Coreenah,” she wrote. “She continues to threaten her about not playing next year as well as degrade her in front of others.”

The Reddens eventually met with Hill who told them their complaints would be investigated, according to Jimia Redden.

By late March, Jimia Redden said the situation had escalated. She wrote to Young again on March 28, stating that Louis “continues to degrade not only Coreenah but other young ladies on the team in front of the rest of the team.”

That email was sent after an incident in which the Reddens and the parent who wrote to the university’s president this week claim Louis called players inappropriate names after some players attended a party.

“That made her snap on us,” Coreenah Redden said this week.

According to the Reddens, Louis called Coreenah Redden an alcoholic and another player a drug addict.

As a mother who has watched her daughter play basketball since she was a child, Jimia Redden said she understands that a coach needs to be tough and must hold players to a certain standard of behavior but, she said, Louis crossed the line.

Another ongoing issue, according to the Reddens, is the coach’s policy prohibiting teammates from dating each other. Louis repeatedly questioned some of the player’s sexual orientation and asked if they were sleeping with each other, according to the Reddens and the other parent who contacted the Post.

“She is against [being gay] and I don’t know why,” Coreenah Redden said.

During a team meeting, Coreenah Redden said, Louis became angry and told the players, “I’ve got players [sleeping with] each other and doing this and that [and that’s not allowed on the team].”

The Thorntons said they raised concerns in an email they sent to the DSU president, Young and other school officials in 2013.

On Thursday, they said they’re surprised university officials said there haven’t been any other complaints about the coach that warranted an investigation.

One incident they said was particularly alarming to them involved Louis and their 17-year old daughter, which began when Alexis Thornton was talking in the locker room after a game about how the team could have played better.

Louis became upset and challenged Alexis Thornton to a fight, the girl told her parents.

“Well, you know, if you have a problem, I’ll take off my heels right now and we can settle this, right here, right now,” Alexis Thornton says Louis told her.

The Thorntons said their concerns were not adequately addressed by school officials, despite their plea for help in the letter.

“In closing, it is our hope that someone will take a long hard look at what is happening on your campus and begin to hold the staff accountable for their action … we have kept quiet for a long time … but when things get out of control it is our responsibility as parents to step in,” they wrote.

Alexis Thornton’s athletic scholarship was not renewed after her sophomore year.

Coreenah Redden said she has loved playing basketball since she was 9, but now she’s glad she’s no longer on the DSU team.

“She made me not like basketball anymore,” she said of Louis.

The former player, who quit after being suspended for attending the campus party, said she’s less stressed now. She said she’s able to focus on school and also serves a referee for intramural sports at DSU.

Holmes declined to allow the Dover Post to interview Young or Hill.

Messages left for Louis, who has been head coach since 2012, were not returned.