Two Alabama cities have decided not to lease public facilities to former Auburn softball coach Clint Myers, who apparently was planning to use the fields to coach the Chinese national softball team along with his two sons, Corey and Casey.
"We could not come to terms with the Chinese team, and we're not going to do it," said Russell Melnick, chairman of the parks and recreation board in Opelika.
Earlier, Auburn parks and recreation director Becky Richardson said that the city of Auburn decided "not to move forward with a contract at this time."
Both Melnick and Richardson said they had been negotiating with Clint Myers on behalf of the Chinese national team.
The decisions come after former Auburn player Anna Gibbs called parks and recreation officials and urged them not to allow the Myerses to use the facilities. Gibbs, who played for Auburn from 2014-16, was part of a Title IX complaint that led to Corey Myers being banned from the university's campus on Aug. 21, 2017. The investigation concluded that Corey Myers had violated school policy by pursuing inappropriate sexual relationships with more than one student.
"I've said, 'This is what happened to me. You can't let this happen to anyone else,'" Gibbs said of her conversation with the parks department officials.
The Chinese Softball Association has not announced or acknowledged whether it has hired Clint Myers and his sons to coach its national team. Emails to its president, Dr. Yang Xu, have gone unanswered. Neither Clint nor Corey Myers have responded to phone messages seeking comment.
But according to multiple sources, a contingent of 50 to 60 Chinese softball players is scheduled to arrive in Alabama on Monday to begin practicing with their new coaching staff. The team was expected to train there through December before moving their workouts to Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida.
Until Saturday, the city of Opelika was their likely home.
Gibbs, who was unnamed in an espnW story detailing allegations of abuse by Meyers earlier this year, decided to speak publicly for the first time. She said she was worried the Chinese women could be "vulnerable."
"They are coming to this country to pursue their Olympic dream, and they're dependent on [each] Myers," she said. "There is a cultural divide, there is a language divide, and they are completely dependent on these men who in the past have abused that power."
Cheri Kempf, commissioner of National Pro Fastpitch, which fields two teams with Chinese players, spoke out against the supposed hiring of the Myerses.
"I've been proud of China being in this league," Kempf said. "If you care about this sport, you have to care about it on a global basis. The Chinese believe they need coaches to help them compete in the Olympics, and I often recommended coaches to them. But I've never recommended Clint or Corey or Casey Myers, and I can't see any scenario where it's prudent for the NPF to have Corey Myers as a coach of any team.
"They're placed in another world," Gibbs said. "They don't have anything but this dream of playing in the Olympics, and then they have the Myers, connecting them to their dream. It's not like they're here for a career, or to go to school. They're going to wake up every day doing softball and depending on the Myers, depending on Corey. That's just really scary."