Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Brandeis Basketball Coach Called Student ‘Jew Boy’

Brandeis University fired head basketball coach Brian Meehan last week, citing multiple complaints about racial discrimination from players dating back years.

Now new reports say the complaints date back five years — and he also allegedly made anti-Semitic remarks to a student manager on the team, Deadspin reported.

The former student manager, Phil Keisman, told Deadspin that Meehan often referred to him as “Jew boy.” Keisman, who was student manager from 2004-07, said he wanted to reach about publicly discussing his experiences with Meehan after seeing news of the coach’s firing.

Keisman recalled Meehan commenting on his size and religion, and encouraging other staffers to join in on the fun. “As one of the team’s only Jews at a predominately Jewish school, he often referred to me as ‘Jew boy,’ and made comments about my ethnicity/faith and what it must be like to be among Jews at Brandeis frequently,” Keisman wrote to Deadspin.

“I have little doubt that Meehan believed that his bullying was an advanced motivation technique… But efficacy doesn’t make it okay. He built a culture of hierarchy, distrust, and nastiness that permeated his coaching staff,” Keisman continued in his letter to Deadspin, adding that he’s “sorry he never stood up.”

In another revelation, a former black student said he complained about racist treatment by Meehan. But the school appears to have done little about the accusations until recently.

Contact Haley Cohen at [email protected]


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.