USF coach placed on leave during 'independent review' of reported racist comment

University of South Florida Bulls men's basketball assistant coach Tom Herrion has been placed on administrative leave after what the school calls "troubling concerns" regarding an alleged racist comment. 

The accusation was made to administrators by an unnamed party. USF has not confirmed the contents of the comment, but said it was not a racial slur.

"It hits really hard because we have been working with USF," said NAACP of Hillsborough County President Yvette Lewis. "They have got to clean house when it comes to the faculty, the staff, and go into administration and find out where the bad apple is."

USF says there is an independent investigation underway. Administrators said Bulls head coach Brian Gregory is not under investigation and his employment status has not changed.

USF Bulls assistant coach Tom Herrion placed on administrative leave

"We keep talking about these comments, we keep talking about these words. We keep talking about race. It is so frustrating because I don't think people get it. Maybe it is embedded, maybe it is something that they are taught," Lewis said.

In a statement, USF said the school is, "committed to dismantling systemic racism and actively promoting racial equity across our campuses."
Officials pointed FOX 13 to an anti-racism website that includes a way for students to report incidents. They also said they have recently added the position of senior advisor to the president on diversity and inclusion.

USF has not said how long the review of the coach's conduct would take.

Neither Herrion nor Gregory responded to emails asking for comment.