PFW’s women’s volleyball assistant coach accused of abusing players at previous school

Purdue Fort Wayne's women's volleyball team assistant coach Alexis Meeks-Rydell
Purdue Fort Wayne's women's volleyball team assistant coach Alexis Meeks-Rydell(WPTA)
Updated: Sep. 3, 2021 at 1:18 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - According to court documents, Purdue Fort Wayne’s women’s volleyball team assistant coach Alexis Meeks-Rydell is being accused of abusing former players.

New to the coaching staff, Meeks-Rydell is a former IUPUI volleyball stand-out.

Court documents say she is accused of physically and emotionally abusing, sexually harassing and inappropriately touching former players while coaching in Alabama.

Meeks-Rydell, who is from Leo, Ind., was hired as the assistant coach at Purdue Fort Wayne on June 1. She spent the previous two seasons as head coach at Division I South Alabama. She resigned from the school in February, according to the lawsuit.

While at South Alabama, two former players under Meeks-Rydell allege they were routinely subjected to blatant sexual harassment and sexual, physical, and emotional assault by Meeks-Rydell, says the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Alabama.

According to the lawsuit, Rachael DeMarcus and Alexis Silver said Meeks-Rydell created a climate of fear and intimidation on the volleyball team beginning in 2018.

The players are asking for a jury trial to receive financial compensation “in an amount that will fully compensate plaintiffs for all they suffered and continue to suffer in the future as a (result of the abuse),” the lawsuit says.

The Purdue Fort Wayne Fort Wayne released the following statement to ABC21 News.

“Upon learning of the lawsuit and allegations against Alexis Meeks-Rydell during her time at the University of South Alabama, she was immediately placed on administrative leave pending university review of the matter. This will be the extent of our comment at this time.”

- Kelley Hartley Hutton, Purdue Fort Wayne Athletic Director

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