No Charges Against MSU Softball Coaches For Allegedly Hitting Players With Pitches
Authorities announced on Monday they will not prosecute a pair of MSU coaches implicated in an incident where a player was allegedly intentionally hit with pitches in practice.
Prosecutors in Ingham and Isabella counties both opted against formally charging MSU softball head coach Jaquie Joseph and assistant Jessica Bograkos, the Lansing State Journal reports. Michigan State Police began investigating earlier this year after outfielder Alyssa McBridge, 22, alleged Bograkos intentionally struck her with pitches twice this season once she made remarks critical of the MSU softball program to the media.
MSU also opened its own internal investigation, for which it hired an outside firm. The State Journal reports that investigation has yet to conclude.
McBride told The Detroit News she made the following statement off the record to a reporter following the Spartans’ 16-1 loss to Notre Dame on April 28.
‘Honestly, I wish I would’ve gone to a different school.’ He’s like, ‘Why’s that?’ ‘Because I came here to win and we never won, all four years,’” said McBride, whose MSU teams went 66-140. “I shouldn’t have said that, but we just lost by 15 runs. Like, I’m a gamer. I love to win. That’s all I care about it.”
The next day, McBride says she was called into head coach’s Jacquie Joseph’s office and questioned about the comments, which had somehow gotten back to Joseph. McBride says she owned up to the comments.
Later that day, en route via bus to Mount Pleasant to play Central Michigan, an anonymous teammate of McBride’s told authorities she overheard Joseph give permission for Bograkos to hit McBride during batting practice. More from The News’ report:
“I heard Bograkos, the assistant, say, ‘I can hit her?’ I didn’t think anything of it at the time,” the source said. “Then Coach Joseph said, ‘Yes, you can hit her.’ Bograkos responded, ‘So, I can hit her?’ and Coach Joseph said, ‘Yes, you can hit her because I can’t. If you hit her, it would be considered an accident.’ I started thinking about it. She throws batting practice. I know McBride had gotten in trouble that morning. I started thinking about, and I mentioned something to one of the other (team) members: ‘Wouldn’t it be weird if they hit McBride?’ ”
McBride alleges later that day Joseph struck her with a pitch in the wrist that was aimed for head.
Bograkos was a two-time All-American pitcher at MSU. She is married to Tim Bograkos, who played for Tom Izzo and MSU basketball.
Joseph has been at the helm of Michigan State’s softball program since 1994.
The Spartans finished 19-36 this season, with a 4-19 conference record that put them in last place in the Big Ten.