CORVALLIS - Women's basketball coach LaVonda Wagner was fired by athletic director Bob De Carolis.

The dismissal was made public in a prepared statement Tuesday.

The Oregon State women's basketball program had a 68-85 overall record at Oregon State and 26-64 Pac 10. Her teams went to the NIT twice.

It s always a difficult decision when you make a change in the leadership of a program, De Carolis said. I appreciate Coach Wagner s service to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and wish her well in her future endeavors.

The Corvallis Gazette Times ran a story May 8 outlining a startling string of player departures.

The Oregonian ran a story Saturday that said her severance package could potentially hit $1.2 million.

The paper also reported that Wagner was kicked off a plane in Los Angeles, in front of her players, after she refused airline requests to stop using her cellphone. The plane had to taxi back to the gate.

De Carolis launched an inquiry into complaints about the program in late April after the spate of departures.

You can never make assumptions or jump to conclusions without further inspection. At the end of the year, all teams undergo a review and I want to assure you that we are in that process right now with regard to women's basketball, De Carolis said at the time. I do want to assure all fans, students, faculty, staff, boosters and friends, that I am aware of your concerns and I am examining the status of the program and the welfare of our students.

Wagner makes a guaranteed $425,000 a year as head coach through 2013. It was unclear whether Oregon State will have to honor her contract.

Attempts to reach Wagner for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Wagner was named head coach of the Beavers in 2005 after stints as an assistant at Duke, Illinois and East Tennessee State.

Oregon State said the search for a successor will begin immediately.

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