It was a bit more than a year ago when Youngstown State University fired Kendyl Clarkson from her position as head women’s lacrosse coach.

Last weekend, Theresa Walton, who held the YSU job immediately before Clarkson, was suspended by Old Dominion University for driving under the influence.

The Youngstown State women’s lacrosse program was one which was started the very year after the COVID-19 pandemic. The second year for the Penguins was the best that the program enjoyed, finishing with a 10-8 record with Walton at at the helm.

After that season, Walton left for Old Dominion and Clarkson came into the job. But Youngstown would start the 2023 season 2-5, and Clarkson would be fired over rumors of an incident involving alcohol. Even with a coaching change, Youngstown has spiraled downhill. The team has gone 4-23 since mid-March 2023.

Walton’s record the last two years at Old Dominion isn’t much better, with a record of 7-26.

Now, I’m not about to prattle on about whether or not these two personnel actions are related. But I do not think it is a coincidence that alcohol was involved in both of these situations. I’m wondering out loud what is going on, especially in the Youngstown State athletics program.

Twice, the people in charge of making the final decisions on the hiring of the head women’s lacrosse program have hired coaches who have fallen under university sanctions of some kind, reportedly because of the use or or abuse of alcohol.

I don’t think this reflects well on YSU.


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