RICHMOND, Va. — Sue Murphy was asked to resign as University of Richmond women’s lacrosse coach after athletic department officials discovered a parent-operated fund was supporting the team’s budget, including travel expenses and senior gifts.
In an interview at her home on Thursday, Murphy said she knew the fund was against department policy and that using it meant she risked losing her job. She was working without a contract while at Richmond.
“My commitment to making sure my student-athletes had a positive experience was a high priority for me,” said Murphy, who has 4- and 13-year-old daughters.
The athletic department forbids the use of outside accounts to fund an athletic team, said Jim Miller, director of athletics. Employees found violating the rule are subject to termination.
“The problem with an outside account is that completely innocent purchases appear to be improper because you can’t account for the funds,” Miller said. “If you can’t account for funds, it creates the impression that there were no receipts and no checks. We need to make sure athletes receive no extra benefits. We need to know what athletic funds are used for.”