When the University of Notre Dame issued a terse news release late fall announcing the departure of assistant coach Ryan Ayers, college basketball observers knew something was up. It’s only now that we’ve learned Ayers faces serious criminal charges stemming from multiple complaints.
The former Fighting Irish player faces jail time if convicted on charges stemming from allegations of voyeurism and domestic battery.
Ryan Ayers comes from a basketball background
Sons have a way of following their fathers into coaching careers. That is how it played out for Ryan Ayers, who recently left the University of Notre Dame.
Randy Ayers played for Miami of Ohio in the mid-1970s, where he averaged 13.4 points as a senior to earn second-team All-MAC recognition and posted a double-double in the NCAA Tournament to beat defending champion Marquette. He played briefly in the Western Basketball Association before returning to Miami University in 1978 as an assistant coach. Three years there and two at the U.S. Military Academy set the table to join the Ohio State staff in 1984.
When Gary Williams left for Maryland in 1989, the Buckeyes promoted Ayers to head coach. He was only 124-108, recording losing records in the final four of his eight seasons. He latched on with the Philadelphia 76ers, where Ayers eventually served as head coach for half a season before being fired, and he has been in the NBA since. Ayers is currently an assistant for the Phoenix Suns.
Ryan Ayers graduated from Notre Dame in 2009 after four years as a player under coach Mike Brey. He was honored as the team’s best defensive player in his senior year and ranks fourth in program history in 3-point shooting percentage.
He was an assistant coach at Bucknell before returning to Notre Dame when Brey had a vacancy to fill in 2016.
The assistant coach left Notre Dame abruptly last fall
Preseason workouts had started when the University of Notre Dame issued a news release in September 2020 saying that Ryan Ayers had at the beginning of his fifth year in South Bend, Indiana. The statement did not elaborate beyond saying he was “no longer a member of the Notre Dame men’s basketball program.”
In a statement released by Notre Dame on Jan. 5, 2021, Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey expanded upon that without getting into details.
“The university and I decided that Ryan was unable to continue in his role to be a leader of young men, so it was necessary to make the staffing change a few months ago,” he said, according to the South Bend Tribune. “This is a personal issue for Ryan and we won’t elaborate any further.”
The presumed reason came when the newspaper reported that Ayers was charged in St. Joseph County in Indiana with voyeurism and domestic battery.
Multiple complaints were registered against Ryan Ayers
Former Notre Dame assistant basketball coach Ryan Ayers was charged following complaints from two women, the South Bend Tribune reported. The charges consist of three counts of voyeurism and one count of domestic battery.
Court documents allege Ayers recorded the women without their consent, naked or while having sex. He is also accused of striking the face of one of the women during an altercation in his car.
The same documents cite images on Ayers phone of “various images of naked women where they seem to be unaware that a photo was being taken of them. These images include the women in the shower, sleeping on a bed, or in a sexual position,” the paper reported.
One of the women told police that she learned images of her allegedly taken by Ayers had been shared by him in a group chat. A second woman said she caught Ayers using his phone to record a video of them while they were having sex.
Two of the voyeurism charges are felonies that carry penalties of up to 2 ½ years in jail and a $10,000 fine if convicted, according to Rivals.com.
Peter J. Agostino, an attorney representing the former coach, said Ayers denies the allegations and looks forward to clearing his name.