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Saint Leo Softball Coach Resigns After Using Racial Epithet

Editor’s note: This article contains a racial term which may be deemed as derogatory to some readers. For this article an email interview was conducted with three former Saint Leo softball players. One source has asked to remain anonymous, thus she will be referred to as the unnamed former player throughout the article. The others will be referred to by their names.

One former student-athlete at Saint Leo offered her personal testimony about her experience with the SLU coaching staff. Amanda Patrick spent only her freshman year at Saint Leo before she transferred to continue playing college softball.

“Christi Wade without a doubt ruined my softball career,” Patrick said.

Wade is the former Women’s Associate Athletic Director and softball coach at Saint Leo University.

At the brink of numerous verbal and physical harassment allegations Wade has sent in her letter of resignation on March 2, according to The Lions’ Pride Online Saint Leo’s student newspaper. The final straw that ended her career at Saint Leo was her using a racial epithet against a team member.

“[Wade] called a player a lazy n—–,” unnamed former player said. Although acknowledging this is a terrible thing, the same SLU alumnae said, “Of all the things she has done over the years, this really does not seem half as bad as other things.”

Francis Reidy, Athletic Director at Saint Leo, said that he asked her to resign and she did so with no questions asked.

Although declining to go into detail, Reidy said, “We have some core values here at Saint Leo and she did something that was not in line with those values.”

The former player whom asked to remain anonymous drew a parallel to playing for coach Wade. “I imagine it to be similar to coming home to an abusive parent,” unnamed former player said.

Monique Dominguez added to this by saying, “My last three years I hated [Saint] Leo softball; I would call home crying on a weekly basis it was like mentally and emotionally draining with all her abusive words.”

Going to practice daily for the Lions was a nightmare. The members of the team had to guess her mood and plan accordingly. “One day she would be the happiest person and the next day you would have thought her world was crumbling down and she was taking it out on us, “the unnamed former player said. “It sucks going to practice everyday wondering if she is going to be in a good mood or if you made one error were you going to have to run the entire practice.”

Of the numerous violent acts committed by Wade, one of the most prevalent was when she physically put her hands upon one of her players. “Coach [Christi] Wade has been known to pick players up by their chest protectors and shake them while swearing at them,” the unnamed former player said.

Her assistant, and now the head coach at Saint Leo was anything but helpful. “I have a physical deformity on my face,” said Patrick. “[Fields] thought it might be a good idea to make fun of my eye multiple times in front of other players and then laugh like it was hilarious, when it was not at all [funny] to me.”

Another player confirmed the allegation. “Jana [Fields] and coach [Wade] would make fun of girls that were on the team,” said Dominguez.

The team has a time limit on its practices; the players have to sign off on the hours stating that they had not gone over the allotted time.

“Her assistant coach Jana Fields has the official paper work for our hours we have to sign off on complying with the amount she has written down. If one of us does not sign the hours, we were practically forced in there to do it, so they did not get in trouble for going over,” the unnamed former player said.

Patrick added to this allegation. “If we refused to sign them, then we practically were never going to see [playing time on] the field.”

Coach Fields said she had no comment on the contents of this article or the resignation of Christi Wade.

After a loss Dominguez described the teams punishment, “One time we even got locked in the van on a hot day because we lost; we could speak to each other, no radio, until she got out of her [bad] mood,” Dominguez said.

As a recruiter Wade was very good at convincing her potential players they were coming to play at a program based on strong, strict values.

“When I was recruited as a freshmen with a full ride to SLU I was told verbatim by coach Wade that she liked to recruit good people and turn them into great ball players,” the unnamed former player said. “We have a handbook that says this is absolutely no drug tolerance; there was major drug use going on by a multitude of ball players who tested positive a number of times. Coach Wade allowed players to test positive before dropping out of school for a semester to go to rehab then come back because she was a ‘homerun hitter’.”

Dominguez confirmed, “We had one girl on our team who tested dirty [for drugs] several times and coach let her come back after taking a semester off and play and made her team captain only because she hit home runs.”

On top of verbal and physical harassment, players also said Wade delivered false promises to the SLU team. “We had to work numerous Sundays in our off season at Raymond James Stadium concession stands in order to raise money for the team,” the unnamed former player said. “Supposedly, we were going to go to Hawaii. That never happened.”

The women’s softball team also earned side money (tips) while working the concession stands at Raymond James Stadium. “We had to give them straight to Jana or coach Wade,” said Patrick. “They were supposedly going to be split up at the end of the year between everyone, that also never happened.”

Wade also told the team that they would be awarded sweatpants for working an event. “We worked the kids Gasparilla parade and never received them,” Patrick said.

Saint Leo is in the Sunshine State Conference along with The University of Tampa Spartans. UT will host the Lions’ softball team on March 31 beginning a three-game conference set.

The opening line on Wade’s biography on Saint Leo’s athletic website states, “Hard work, honesty and integrity are the principles in which Christi Wade has lived by.”

“I am so glad my years with her are over. I am so glad she can not ruin the game of softball for future players,” the unnamed former player said.

They [the coaches] made us feel like worthless pieces of s—,” said Dominguez.

Kyle Bennett can be reached at

30 Comments on Saint Leo Softball Coach Resigns After Using Racial Epithet

  1. Oh My - Tell Me No // March 24, 2013 at 8:13 pm //

    This started the very first year that Christi got the job. She had an excellent assistant coach and pushed her out the door so that she could get her “very close friend” Jana in. I can’t personally believe it has taken this long for someone to come forward. For a Catholic school, they sure have allowed some huge issues to take place that is totally against the Catholic doctrine. Both of these slugs need to be out – not just Christi, but Christi and Jana.


  2. DERRICK RHAME // July 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm //



  3. power to the people yes i know…i dont really care what others think because i am just sayin the honest truth…i really wouldnt doubt if Former Player with Positive Outlook is one of the coaches writting these comments….


  4. Power to the People // July 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm //

    Moe- Don’t you dare worry about what people believe and what they don’t believe. No reason for you to feel that way. As Mark Twain said, “if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”


  5. power to the people..yes i could not find it so i figured it was deleted for some reason…and yes, it sad what had happened…chrisit could of been a great coach if she did not all these issues to take place..but it was not only Christi..Jana Fields had a huge huge impact on the problem….she was sneaky and always behind coach throwing something in her ear….she added fuel to the fire all the time…that why the person who is sittin her defending the coaches i find it very hilarious cuz if they said they played with me…im sure they know exactly what im talkin about…they act like im making everything up….oh trust i would never make up half the stuff i had to go through…..


  6. Power to the People // July 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm //

    Moe- the previous comment referred to was removed from this site for some reason. It is no longer here. Regardless of comments, favored few, etc. etc., the bottom line is that what was allowed to happen at Saint Leo, over a period of years, was emotional, and according to some, physical abuse of student athletes. I have heard many stories of players commenting on the abuse in exit interviews, trainers complaining of abuse and faculty members commenting about Coach Wade as well. I also heard that Coach Wade was in anger managemnet long before this last incident happened. It was just a bad situation that was not properly monitored and controlled. Too many girls left that program over the years for it not to have been a warning to someone.


  7. From what i was taught…is that if u believe in something so much you must identify yourself!!! and by no means am i tryin to play the victim at all….i know i could have handle the situation different..i probably should have not let someone get to me and under my skin…i probably should have not had someone make me hate the sport i onced loved….if i could go back i would change it..i would not cry a tear over what she would do or how she would make me feel…and yes it is competitive softball..i understand that top notch programs such as UCLA and other programs all have their own problems and im sure the coach yells and girls cry..i had severl of my travel ball friends go to D1 school and none of them went thru what we did….yes screams…yells…tears…hard work…we all go through it..but there is a difference there….I play travel ball with coaches who were hard but great coaches…coaches who would yell at u and rip u apart…if we made a mistake she would literally call time out and show u…there was no messing around with her….she held us accountable…im use to that..but its a difference when someone holds u accountable andsomeone who trys to belittle you….i just think if u wanna sit here and speak your beliefs why not state your name….and get the facts straight i am not bashin the school cuz like i said i love leo and i would have not choosen any other school….


  8. Former Player with Positive Outlook // July 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm //

    I can see that this is starting to turn in a poor me pity party, I only pity you because if all this stuff was really going on, you did not do anything to get out or change the situation. I can’t understand why no one on here bashing these people and this institution has not taken any responsibilities for their actions. Maybe it was the bad attitudes and horrible sportsmanship that lead the coaches to be tougher on the players, not because they were having a bad day, but because they knew your full potential and knew you were not putting everything into it.

    And if I am not mistaken we are talking about competitive NCAA division II softball, it is not a ride in the park, it is tears, toughness, pushing yourself coaches and players, even some yelling. You think the UCLA coach doesn’t “yell” or talk loudly to get their point across if one of their players is playing to their full potential? As far as the whole calling names and emotional abuse I never witnessed or heard of any of this until now, so it is a little hard for me to believe it. I think that some people on here are stretching the truth to maximum proportion to make themselves to look more like a victim.

    Yes you can make excuses all you want, but one day the things you do will haunt you… “You reap what you sow” As for that comment Moe, that is a little out of left field I can honestly say that I have never done anything personally, emotionally, or physically to hurt anyone on my Saint Leo Softball team, I feel you are really trying to dig for something with that. I know I did the best that I could every single day and left everything I had on the field. I got to end my years as a softball player on a great note and will always remember the lesson that I was taught personally and softball wise from the Saint Leo Softball program.

    I choose not to share my name, because I don’t want my name associated with this horrible showcase of people bashing and negativity. I just wanted to shed some light on the good things of Saint Leo Softball and try and filter out some of the lies.




  10. In regards to the last comment I will say my name loud and proud….this is my opinion and this is how I felt…I can write my name at the end of my comment that I have written…because I have nothing to hide and all I do is speak the truth….maybe you had a different opinion, but hey everyone is entitled to their own perspective on every issue….what I say is no lie…maybe I should have spoken up when I was at Leo, but like I have said before she was in control of my future…..i was on a scholarship there bad enough I got treated like shit so if I were to speak up would it have made a difference or would things just have gotten worse for me….if faculty was complaining about “them” and no actions were ever taken place than why should I think what I said would make any difference….Not even our own athletic trainers could come to a game without being on egg shells…this displays that there is definitely a problem…problems didn’t only occur with players on the team, but with everyone who worked with the softball program…I honestly believe it had got worse each year from 04 my fresh year to 08 my senior…total day and night between my freshie year and my senior year…they aren’t even comparable…To the person below me yes you are correct I am no one to judge these two individuals because I don’t know what issues they were facing in life during this time and how they were feeling inside…maybe they were going through some problems that made them do the things they did to people or made people feel like they were worthless pieces of shit…I personally have no idea or clue what was going on in their life so I will not judge and I don’t have the power to hold judgment on these two individuals…only they know and only one person can make judgment in my eyes and that is God….besides that they will have to live with how they treated other and yes you can make excuses all you want, but one day the things you do will haunt you… “you reap what you sow”….Christi Wade was a great person off the field and was probably a great worker as an assistant AD…but for whatever reason Jana Fields and Christi Wade just did not work well as a team meaning coaching together…I am by no means trying to rip Christi’s rep up into pieces because her own actions has revealed who she was and my words do not need to be spoken for individuals out there to know what Jana and Christi were all about….As a player I put my heart out there for the game I loved…and I know I came to Leo with the right attitude…ready to succeed and become a better softball player…ready to make Leo into a better program with my fellow nine incoming freshies that were coming along with me and the rest of the players that were already part of the program…..I wanted to be the best and I wanted do better than I have ever done before in this sport…I left home which was a huge sacrifice to live my dream…to play college ball and to be the first one in my family to graduate from college…I was so happy and grateful that I was given this blessing…..In the end it was still a great blessing because I have grown and learned so much, but it was not as easy as it seemed and I probably didn’t get the result I thought I was going to…..Did I graduate? Yes…Did I become a better ball player I wanted to in the end?….NO….i know I did not become better than what I enter college at…I might have had a little growth…Yes, maybe I could have handle situations differently, but I do feel like I was robbed of becoming the player I could have been….being called names…getting cursed at daily…being told to get ur head out of your ass….and basically getting told your worthless…that is not the best feeling ever…I mean is it? It is just as comparable as when a individual is in an abuse relationship….emotionally??? you begin to believe it… you begin to give up on yourself even if you know that it is not true…It effects a person more than u think…physical abuse the bruises go away…emotionally the words stay there and cant disappear… was crazy how the coaches were…the coach constantly tried to make cliques…especially Jana not so much Wade…but they were always trying to turn everyone against one another…but secretively… was like almost everyone on the team did not agree with what they did, but either Coaches got them to conform to them by making them feel like they were the superior ones on the team and the favorite ones…it was kind of ridiculous…i remember my junior year we had a slept over at one of the players house…and even some of the girls who use to kiss ass were talking shit and saying how they really felt…it just that everyone was so afraid to speak up and say their true feelings…I mean if we all would have had the courage to come together as a team maybe we could have stopped some of it…but its two different things when players can talk about it with their teammates and when it came to confronting the Coach at a team meeting….. we would get lucky if three to four players would back you up on something everyone talk about and than you would bring up the issue to their attention even though they just discussed earlier how they felt about an issue they would leave you in the dry because they were scared to speak up….In the end I am still proud to be an Alumni of the Saint Leo Softball program and I will always remember where I came from and what has helped me come closer to my dream and succeeding in life….regardless of what has happened I am happy I chose to attend SLU because their education is great and I met life time friends…Well I wish Wade the best and I pray that she is doing well and I hope she continues to succeed in her career and she takes this as a lesson learned…may God bless her in her new journey….

    Monique Dominguez
    c/o 2008 #25


  11. Former Player with positive outlook // July 6, 2010 at 1:14 am //

    First off let me start by saying, that if anyone in the journalism field is going to write a story it is professional to get a story from a credible source, especially when writing about something about a subject that is as sensitive as this.

    Second, No one can ruin your life except yourself, some people may put people in situations and what makes or breaks you is how you react from that situation and only you as a person can do that, no one else.

    With that said, I think it is absolutely horrible that people spend time out of their day bashing someone and telling lies about what has gone on in the Saint Leo Softball program. I played under Coach Wade and Jana during my time at Saint Leo and have a great amount of respect for Coach Wade. One of the first things that peeked my interest in the program was the values, morals, and traditions that were upheld in the program. I feel that Coach Wade wanted the best for each player and pushed them to be the best softball player they could. No one is perfect and everyone on this discussion has made mistakes.

    I have personally played with most of the people that are ripping her to pieces, and all I will say is that most of these people came in with horrible attitudes and no respect for the coaches or other players. I feel that we are all adults and all this really seems unnecessary! If these people hated the softball program so much, then why did you stay all four years and come back for alumni games? And if Coach Wade was “paying” for your college why didn’t you uphold you end of the deal and do the best job you could for your teammates and University.

    If me or any of the other girls are the “chosen ones” it is only because we gave our all and did the very best we could for our team, program and institution. A lot of people would not be where they are today if it was for Softball and Coach Wade!

    I am not here to bash or say negative things, or to defend anyone. I feel that this has all been blown out of proportion by untrue statements and self loathing. I just wanted to add something positive about Coach Wade, Jana, and Saint Leo University Softball! I am a proud Alumni and would play for Coach Wade and Jana again.

    Who is anyone to judge, when they are only given biased opinions, especially by people that are out to shed negativity!!


  12. Power to the People // June 28, 2010 at 9:30 am //

    Ahhhhh,one of the “favored few” finally emerges. Wondered when that would happen. Good for you Ali. Glad she was good to you and I am sure that she was good to you while wreaking havoc on other girls around you but of course that would never cross your mind. Coach Wade and Jana ruined so many lives. But you go ahead and stand up for them. Gotta have something to believe in right?


  13. so much for core values uh?


  14. It is atrocious what has and is continuing to happen at St. Leo. My sister played for them and she HATED it! She wasn’t allowed to talk to my parents when they went to visit her (she was from out of state). They weren’t allowed to even sit with her after a game to eat, because they were building “team unity” by sitting with each other. He career came to and end there when she was severely injured and Coach Wade told her to hang up her shoes since she wasn’t going to play ever again. She ended up leaving and finishing up college at a school back home where she played fast pitch and LOVED it. I am so sorry she ever had to deal with that crap! I sure hope Fran Reidy is ready for the sky falling!


  15. DD COOPER // March 27, 2010 at 8:17 pm //

    This to Power to the People: Saint Leo does not have any BENEDUCTINE VALUES.


  16. Power to the People // March 27, 2010 at 11:50 am //

    This is a nightmare for girls who remain in the program and for those who left. These are girls who want nothing more than to go to school and play ball. These are student-athletes who are used to doing more and being more. They have a competitive spirit that makes it almost impossible for them to quit. Imagine what they must feel like when forced to quit due to the unchecked depravity of the coaching staff at Saint Leo. That is unless they were lucky enough to be one of the favored few. And what about those favored few? They sacrifice in their own way by turning on members of their team in order to “keep coach happy with me”. That has to leave a stain on your character.

    What about parents who kept telling their daughters “just hang in there, your can do this, you are not a quitter”. Parents who listen to their daughters crying on the phone many times before finally realizing it has nothing to do with their daughter not being “tough enough” to handle college ball. Finally realizing that they unknowingly trusted their daughters to a megalomaniac of a coach, her demented sidekick, and to a university that looked the other way so often, disregarded exit interviews, complaints from fellow staff members and other signs that should have been clear warnings.

    What about the NCAA? What about the SSC? Are there no entities that govern these colleges and universities? Where are the advocates for these players. This is not the way it is supposed to be. How could that univeristy have turned a blind eye for such a long time? My, my, my Saint Leo. Where ARE your Benedictine Values?


  17. It is sad what happened at SLU. However, 95% of SLU staff and faculty members is just like the had softball coach


  18. It is truly sad what has happened at SLU. I wish every former and current player the best of luck. Don’t be afraid to speak out against your superiors. Let this be a lesson to all.



  19. coach wade and coach fields

    i would like to thank you for destroying my daughters softball career.In all the years i have coached this game i have never seen such abuse.My daughter played at this school and liked her teammates
    This school does not back there athletes they choose to take they coaches advise no matter right or wrong.I failed as a parent to allow such abuse i hope someday my daughter will forgive me.

    sad parent


  20. DD COUPER // March 25, 2010 at 5:49 pm //

    There are other staff and faculty members at Saint Leo (SLU), is just like Christi Wade and they have “I don’t care attitude toured the students.” The staff and faculty members at SLU tend to forget if it was not for the students, they would not have a job.


  21. former softball player // March 25, 2010 at 11:15 am //

    I am a former collegiate softball player (not from St. Leo). I was absolutely appalled after reading this article. Playing softball was undoubtedly some of the best years of my life… it is heartbreaking to learn that so many players have had what could have been the best years of their lives taken away from them. I can’t help but wonder where the Athletic Director was during all of this. How many girls went to the administrator and what was done??? Is it really possible for this kind of abuse to go unnoticed for several years???


  22. Power to the people yes its sad that another two are off the team…for whatever reason…my freshman year we started off with 9 and ended with 3 orginial senior year…WOW…it speaks for itself…and speaking about how the coaches go about handling issues…lets talk about consistency….they never had that…it all depended on who the player was and what they did for the team or how much they like the player and from that….it is how they would come up with a punishment for them when one violated a rule or so they claimed they violated a rule…instead of treating everyone equal on the team and making team unity it seemed like they did total opposite…they always tried to form lil groups on the team…talking bad about people and telling girls who they should or shouldn’t be friends with…i guess they use to like all the girls they knew they could get them to do whatever they said and get them to tell on one another and knew they would who kiss their ass….you can say they wanted them in one group…than u had the other group that was in the middle and than u had that other group where they were tired of their bullshit and they did speak up or they were the ones who the coaches broke into pieces and made them an emotional mess…also talkin about coaches being consistant….two of my teammate both being my really good friends… who the coaches loved because she did an amazing job @ her position and my other who was more a role player…both had surgery due to softball…coach made a trip with one player for surgery and made sure she was doing well and this was during off season and she had her family with her…i think this is what a coach should do for every player, but instead that was not the case…as the other player broke her nose during batting practice had surgery and she was from out of state and had no family in florida…you would think coach would really be there or at least call her…but that didnt happen…instead she received a comment that was very rude… well it was your fault if u knew how to hit or swing right it wouldnt of happened…do u think she wanted to hear that after she broke her nose…well drama ended up happening with that and the player ended quiting…its a long story…we use to have issue after issue…and i honestly dont know how i survived four years at Leo…its was HELL…i know the grass isnt always greener on the other side so i would ask my other friends who i use to play travel ball with how their college life was…i would hear that they had tough coaches, nothing compared to what we would go through…when i would tell them about things…they would be like what the hell your coaches are NuTs…telling them about the times where we had to sit in a hot van for losing or our dinner was delayed for a good minute because we lost or how we were called all these horrible names or how we couldnt talk, smile, look at eachother or ask for the radio on the way home if we lost or how we had to run after every single missed ball at practice and I remember one time in particular where they worked the hell out of us and I say 80% of the girls were crying well doing it and I was cheering them on to stay strong and not to give up and we can do it…i knew if I didn’t cheer I was going to let some tears out myself, but I wasn’t gonna let them break me…cuz oh boy did they get a high off of knowing they got to someone…so I keep cheering as other teammates starting cheering along with me…then all of a sudden I get the coach telling me to shut up and stop cheering…lol…she wanted to brake us…she wanted to make us hit rock bottom…she didn’t wanna see us coming together to fight and see us take it like a champ and not let her get to us… Ashley Wade put it we were basically in boot camp no lie…Im not here to bash Coach Wade or make her seems like a monster but i do know that Wade does have a problem with controlling her anger…My freshie year after she knew she did something uncalled for she would step up and say sorry…i guess after she slept on it she thought about it…but i honesly think that the problems got worse as Jana and Wade were coaches together… my fresh year was Jana first year at Leo…and Wade started changing more and more as freshman year continued….Jana is more evil and sneaky…she does her work behind the scene…as i said she adds fuel to the fire….she would sit there and work coach up until coach the more vocal one opened up her mouth and said something…and jana did her part too and would talk shit…as i use to play third base and i can hear Wade and Fields talk all kinds of crap sayin how we suck or how a certain player are not worth the sholarship they were given or see them throw stuff in the dug out….they would talk pretty loud too…. time and time again i could remember us doing bad at a game and them being the great coaches they are…getting mad and not going out to the coaching boxes i guess to prove a point to us…but do u call giving up on ur team as a coach good ugh NO…there are so many stories i can go on…but i truly feel that if one is accountable that both should be held responsible….how can u kick one coach off when the other coach has done exactly the same…and why should the girls pay for that…im pretty sure that a thing has not changed and Jana Fields is still treating the team like shit and i would not put it past her if she tries to some how seek revenge in her sneaky lil ways…if i had to pick one coach to stay…i would pick wade because she has more of a heart and she could get help for controlling her anger and she is a different coach when she isnt around Jana Fields…and Jana on the other hand is sneaky and cold and i think she gets a high off of treating people like shit…I guess my parents were right when i use to call home and cry…telling me just to stay strong and remember im there for my education and knowing that they couldn’t afford to pay for my schooling at leo they would say just be strong and dont worry just pray about it and that one day all the girls they treated like shit they will remember us… im sure as KARMA is taking its course all those events are coming back to mind and how she wishes she never did that to any of us…I would also like to tell them thank you for taking senior picture and team pictures without me after i was there for four years…Every year from fresh to junior we would return back from winter break on the first day of sshool but i guess senior year they changed it up so we can work the Bucs game and as i was the only one out of state i already booked my ticket and i told coach and she was like oh i was going to tell u guys u have to return early before break, i was like i already bought my ticket…so her knowing two weeks before break and break being a month long…she said pictures were already scheduled…but ur telling me that in that month and half she couldnt find a way to reschedule them from thurs or friday to monday or tuesday knowing that i was a senior and i couldnt make it..but no they saw that as my instead i wasnt on any senior posters or pictures, but i just left it as that cuz i was over this whole softball bs i just wanted May to come already…so i can throw my softball stuff away and never think about getting treated like a lil piece of shit again and hearing someone bash you over and over again…losing at regionals was sad cause it was my last college game and i wanted to go all the way, but it was finally the day i was out of the HELL hole…its sad that we thought like that…we were finally FREE!!!! beside softball saint leo was a great school to attend for my education and it sad that some of my teammates had to leave and missed on such a great education due to our coaches actions…



  23. Power to the people // March 24, 2010 at 9:47 am //

    God bless you for speaking out! So many girls have been treated so badly. Out there in the “real world” people do not really believe these things are possible and can’t even remotely understand the depravity, mayhem and level of abuse these girls were and are subject to at the hands of Wade and Fields.


  24. I am also a former member of the Saint Leo softball team. I attended Saint Leo in the fall of 2007. Although I only attended Saint Leo for one semester and played for the softball team during the fall season, that was more than enough for me. Christi Wade and Jana Fields are the only reason I left the school.

    What all of the former players said is absolutely accurate. Going to softball practice was like going through hell. Not one player on the team was excited for practice or for games. We all dreaded going to practice because we did not know what kind of mood the coaches would be in. If Jana and Christi were going through a lovers squabble, our softball practice would be hell. They would take all of their anger and aggression out on us. It was not uncommon for Coach Wade to call us “worthless, useless pieces of shit and a waste of human life.” The racial comment that she made is nothing bad compared to other verbal abuse we received. Although Christi was the main proprietor of the verbal and physical abuse, Jana never did anything to stop her. She laughed at the comments Christi was making, which makes Jana just at accountable for what was said.

    Some softball practices were more like boot camp. At the beginning of the season, we had one practice that was set up like the Amazing Race. Although it is a great idea to help team unity, some of the things that had to be done are absurd and have nothing to do with softball. Why we had to run 2 miles carrying a 60 pound sand bag I will never know. There were 2 tasks at the very end of the race that do not benefit you in softball in any way. The second to last task was that all of the softball players had to eat 24 hot dogs and 24 buns without vomiting. If you threw up your team got disqualified. The majority of the players were throwing up and had to swallow their own vomit so that their team would not lose. That is completely absurd. After being forced to eat 24 hot dogs and 24 buns as quickly as possible, you had to sprint to the next task. The next task was that you had to eat 24 danishes, 12 blueberry and 12 apple. None of that will help you win games. Being forced to eat all of that food after running approximately 10 miles will never help you with anything softball related. That will not help your team unity. Although the idea for the Amazing Race was great, the tasks that Christi and Jana prepared are ridiculous. That does not build team unity. That only builds hatred towards the coaching staff.

    The other former players mentioned us being forced to work the Bucs and USF Bulls football games at Raymond James Stadium. We were told that we were working the football games to raise money for our spring break trip. Once we reached the $10,000 that we needed for the spring break trip, we would stop working the games. We had to be at the stadium 4 hours prior to the start of the game to set up the concession stand. We then worked through the entire game and then had to clean up the stand and take inventory. We ended up being at the stadium for about 9 hours per game day. We were only allowed one 30 minute break all day in which we were instructed was our time to eat. We told everyone that we were raising money for our softball team. Once the football fans knew who we were and why we were there, they were happy to contribute money in tips. Each girl put the tips in their apron. Christi and Jana walked around and periodically made us empty our aprons and give them all of the tip money. Not only did they just ask us for the tip money, they put their hands in our aprons to make sure that we were not storing any of the money to try to keep for ourselves. We were instructed that all of the tip money would be split up among the team at the end of the day. That never happened. Not once. Therefore, certain softball players starting putting the tip money in their bras or shoes just so that we would get what was supposed to be ours. In regards to the number of games that we worked, we were told that we would work until we raised $10,000. We raised that money much sooner than everyone anticipated. We raised the $10,000 in 4 games. Due to the fact that we raised that much money so quickly, they made us keep working the games to raise money for future softball seasons. We ended up doing about 18 games. We were at the stadium every Saturday and Sunday. This allowed us no time for our school work.

    While being recruited by Christi Wade, she told me that her main priority was for the softball players to succeed academically. She swore that academics came first and softball came second. That, however, was not really the case. Softball was more important to Christi and Jana than anything else. They did not care if the student athletes were suffering academically. As long as we were practicing and playing well, they were happy. One softball player told Christi and Jana that she had a mandatory assignment for her Psychology class. Her professor said that it was mandatory for all students to go on a field trip to a local detention center and interview an inmate. After conducting this interview, each student was to write an analysis of the interview. This assignment was the largest part of their grade for the semester. If they failed to conduct the interview, they would fail the class. When the softball player told the coaches that she would have to miss practice to go on the field trip with her class, Christi and Jana told her to drop the class. Although this was a class that she needed for her major, they told her that going to practice was more important than her class. Upon the coaches request, she ended up dropping the class. It is inexcusable for a coach to put athletics before academics.

    With regards to the number of hours that we practiced, we were greatly exceeding NCAA limitations for practice and games. The NCAA limitations for the offseason is 8 hours per week. During the spring, softball is allowed to participate no more than 20 hours per week. We exceeded this limitation by far. Some teams have 2 a days. We had 4 a days. We would start each day with conditioning at 5:30am. Conditioning would end around 7am. That’s 1.5 hours. After a short break, we had weight lifting from 9am – 10am. If you did not finish all of your assigned exercises within that hour, you had to stay after until you completed all of them. That is at least another hour. The total for the day is now 2.5 hours. You would then go to class from 10am until 2pm. You then would have individuals from 2pm until 3:30pm. That is another 1.5 hours, putting the day’s total up to 4 hours thus far. After another short break, we would have the team practice. The team practice would usually last for at least 3 hours. If we were not practicing up to Christi and Jana’s standards, the practice would last even longer. If you add the 3 hours minimum of practice, that puts the team up to at least 7 hours in one day. That is one hour short of the week’s maximum number of allowed hours. The NCAA also has a limitation on the number of days a team is allowed to practice. A team is only allowed to practice 6 days per week. We always practiced every single day. The only days that we had “off” were Bucs and USF football game days, where we were forced to work 9 hours. I don’t really consider than an off day.

    After our 7 hours of practice each day and 4 hours of class, we then had to go to study hall in the library for 2 hours each day. That is now 13 hours of a 24 hour day that we were required to have practice, school and study hall. We had to do 10 hours of mandatory study hall per week. We also had to do 1 hour per week in the library with what the coaches called our “support buddy.” Support buddies were generally a returning player teamed up with a rookie. The 2 players sat there and talked about anything they wished to discuss relating to school, softball or family life.

    In addition to the 13 hours per day that consisted of practice, study hall and class, we had to do community service hours. There were certain days of the week that we had to go to a local nursing home to play Bingo with the residents. Other days we had to participate in a Habitat for Humanity. Other days we had to participate in helping to clean up an elementary school and play with the local children. We would be at each of those activities for about 2 hours. That adds up to 15 hours of the day that is occupied by softball, class, study hall or community service. That leaves 9 hours to do all of your homework, eat and sleep. Christi and Jana did not care that we had no time to do homework. School work did not matter to them. All they cared about was that we were practicing as much as they would like and that the softball team had a good reputation in the community.

    I am now a Division 1 softball coach and I am aware of all of the NCAA rules and regulations. During my time at Saint Leo, I was fully aware that we were greatly over our participation hours. Like several of the other former players have said, we were forced to sign off on false hours. We were told that if we did not sign off on the hours that Jana had listed that our scholarships would be taken away and that we would not get any playing time. Jana was the one in charge of the compliance paperwork. Jana is the one that forced us to sign off on the compliance paperwork. If Jana remains the head coach at SLU, this behavior will not stop. She was and still is the one behind this NCAA violation. The University of Michigan basketball and football programs have been facing investigation by the NCAA for violating participation hours. Jana needs to be under the same microscope. Although Christi is no longer a coach at SLU, Jana needs to be held accountable for her actions.

    Christi and Jana did not care about the health of the athletes. One girl on the team has Multiple Sclerosis. Christi and Jana were not understanding with that. There were days where this player could not see. There were days this player could not get out of bed. There was another player on the team who was diagnosed with a brain tumor during the fall season. After seeing many neurologists, she was told that athletic activity worsened her condition and symptoms. She was told she was not allowed to practice with the team. Christi and Jana said it was inexcusable for anyone to miss practice, regardless of any medical condition. The coaches penalized the rest of the team each time both of these girls missed practice. There were many times we had “punishment practice.” Punishment practice consisted of several hours of sprints, lunges, push ups, sit ups and many other extremely tiring physical activities. It is absolutely absurd to be punished for a girl missing practice when the only reason she missed is due to a flare up of Multiple Sclerosis or due to a brain tumor. Christi and Jana are the least sympathetic people that I have ever met. Not only are academics umimportant to them, health is equally unimportant. To put those girls in jeopardy of risking their health for softball practice is ridiculous. The girl that had the brain tumor ended up quitting the team because Christi and Jana always yelled at her and cussed her out for missing several practices. They did not care that she had a doctor’s note stating that she could not practice.

    I know there is so much more that I am forgetting. The softball season at Saint Leo was horrible. That was by far the worst semester of my college experience. I hated every second there. As much as I loved the players on the team, Christi and Jana made my life, as well as everyone else’s, a living hell. When I left after the fall semester, many players told me they wished that they had the guts to quit as well. Although Christi and Jana were livid that I quit, I had to do what was best for me. Quitting the Saint Leo softball team was the first and only thing I have ever quit in my life. I have dealt with many tough coaches that worked us hard. However, I had never dealt with such abuse and refused to deal with it. Quitting the softball team was a decision I absolutely do not regret one bit. While a member of the SLU softball team, I was miserable. I was unhappy. My grades suffered. My self esteem was completely diminished. Christi and Jana are the sole cause of that. They are the reason I left SLU. They are the reason that many of the other players quit after the season. There are only 2 players on the current roster that were on the team when I was there. That is because the majority of them quit after the season was over. Christi and Jana are the reason I never played softball again after Saint Leo. Softball used to by my passion and my life. However, they made me hate it. It was not fun anymore. Saint Leo is a private Catholic school. Christi and Jana did not display Christian-like behavior. I attended a private Christian school from pre-school through high school. I have never been treated so poorly from a teacher or a coach in my entire life.

    Although I hated my time as a member of the SLU softball team, it was a learning experience. I learned how not to treat people. I learned what it is like to have 2 terrible coaches. I learned what not to do. Now that I am a Division 1 softball coach, I strive to be the opposite of how Christi and Jana are. I appreciate that my softball players respect me and listen to me. We have fun together as a team and we also accomplish what needs to be done on the softball field. I make sure that academics are the team’s first priority. Practice has been cancelled on many occasions so that the students can study and do homework. Softball is not something that will put a roof over their head in the future. However, their academics is my main priority because it greatly effects their future. In order for the Saint Leo softball program to succeed academically and athletically, Jana Fields needs to be let go as well. She is equally accountable for everything that happened with Christi Wade. Jana is accountable for violating the NCAA regulations. Jana should not even be an assistant coach, let alone a head coach. The resignation of Christi Wade will not change anything in the softball program. If anything, it will make it worse. I know how spiteful Jana is and she will take it out on the current players. I hope for their sake, and for the sake of the future SLU softball players, that Jana Fields is let go as well. I know that the current players are afraid to speak up due to all of the threatening that Jana has done to them. I have been there. I never spoke up either when I was a member of the softball team. Therefore, I am speaking up now for them because they are afraid to. Jana Fields is not fit to coach any team. I hope that all of the other former players speak up as well for the sake of the current and future SLU softball players.


  25. I attend ST Leo Univ had I know this type of stuff goes on here I would definitely take my business elsewhere, so much for cora values. What a shame!


  26. Power to the people // March 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm //

    Amen to that Moe. I wish more people would speak out. Jana has no more business being a head coach than Wade did. Saint Leo needs to take notice and take significant action as soon as possible. Another two players left the team this week. It is unthinkable that they were released after Wade and Fields put up with drug violations, academic violations, alcohol, etc. etc, etc., when it suited their purpose. Now two more girls lost their scholarships, and places on the team for something that was overlooked many, many times for other people. I just don’t see how the adminstration at Saint Leo can continue to let this go on. That is now 11 girls that left the softball program in two and one half years. Red flag here guys! Speak up and support your team members. You cannot possibly make this go away or have this get any better until you stick together!


  27. whoops i saw alot of typos…my bad..but correction on one…JANA FIELDS >>SHOULDN’T<< BE THE HEAD COACH EVEN IF ITS A TEMP. POSITION….


  28. As an alumni of the Leo and a former softball player…i know exactly what its like to be part of the Leo team…issues like this didnt just occur once or twice it was on a consistant basis..not only did Christi Wade do it, but Jana Fields as well…I started in 04 and each year only became a worse nightmare…it was HELL…i played almost every single game from fresh-senior year so its not like im complain cuz i never played…im speaking because its the truth…I know Wade had good intention, but something she just gets carried away and it doesnt help that Jana Fields always has to add fuel to the fire…she may seem quiet but oh boy behind the scenes she sure is making sure she get Christi all worked up…I actually tink that if Christi Wade was held accountable for her actions i also believe that Jana Field should be accountable for her actions as well…maybe Christi’s actions were the ones that were reported but leaving Jana Fields as head coach isnt gonna change a thing.. why but the girls through that… Hello dont you think Jana is gonna even make the girls lifes hell even more now for Chrisit getting fired..they are so called “bffs” so i smell revenge…she already treats players like shit and speaks badly to them….so why would she stop now…. actually i remember a time besides what was mentioned already from the two players in the article…how we were at Jana’s and Christi’s house and Jana was sitting with a few players talkin about how one of the girls on team has a problem socializing and how she has a lazy eye…grant it this girl already had low self esteem and to know ur coaches talk about u as well with teammates isnt i stepped in and i was like if she isnt here to defend herself u should be talkin about her…thats just one situation…i went from loving the game to hating it…it was emotionally and mentally draining…it was like they say verbal abuse is worse than physical abuse which i think is absolutely true…those were the worse four years of my life…i have had tough coaches in travel ball..but there is a different from being a TOUGH coach and a coach who mistreats you….not only would this happen with players but ask the athletic trainers how she was with them…why do u think none of them ever wanted softball….i guess nothing was ever done till someone out side of the school complained…. and one reason why i never made it a big issue because i felt like she was in control of my future…she paid for my school..she was in charge of if i was gonna receive my education…and i could not afford to tell on her than some how them not do anything and than what happens i get kick off the team for some bull shit excuse and there goes my scholarship…plus the coaches would knwo how to turn other teammated against eachother…. ITS HAPPENING RITE NOW AT LEO AS THIS IS ALL HAPPENING… oh they are amazing at doing this… it takes attention off of them…..ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS THAT JANA FIELDS SHOULD BE THE HEAD COACH THERE RITE NOW EVEN IF ITS A TEMP POSITION…WHY MAKE THE GIRLS GO THROUGH THAT…. wouldnt doubt if she treats them liek shit and continues to mistreat them but cover it up by something else…oh she is a great at that…..if one coach gets in trouble both should be held accountable………SO FRAN REIDY NEEDS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE…AND TAKE ACTION SOON!!!!!!!!!!!! as im sure many of the almuni will be willing to speak to him about our years on the leo team and how we were mistreat no only by Christi but Jana fields as well….Im many of us aren’t afraid to speak out loud now because what can they do to us now..we received our education and are long gone…so we rather speak now and prevent many other girls facing the issues we had to face and we would love for them to receive the respect they deserve and get treated right….IF WE CAN HELP IN MAKING CHANGE WHY NOT…i wouldnt want another girl going through 4 years of what i had to go through…

    Monique Dominguez


  29. Power to the people // March 13, 2010 at 9:30 am //

    This action was long overdue. Message to everyone. Don’t stand by and tolerate abuse. Had people stood up and done the right thing Wade would have been gone long ago. Think of the girls who left the team because they were so badly abused. No one stood up for them. Wade created an atmosphere where you had to struggle to garner favor always. Her ego was huge. Nothing is worth standing by and letting other suffer. This story just barely scratches the surface of the depths of her demented mind and flawed personality. Stick together out there guys. Power to the People! Don’t stand by and let this happen. A tough Coach is to be expected. Being led by someone who is mental is not! And Saint Leo U? You stood by and let this happen. Your are lucky it was not worse. Lesson learned???


  30. Thanks for the heads up! I’m glad she resigned. “Hard work, honesty and integrity are the principles in which Christi Wade has lived by.” I don’t think that bio can more incorrectly define her personality.


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