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DePaul Sued Accused Of Covering Up 'Abusive Cult' ... In School's Softball Team

DePaul's former softball coach allegedly punched his assistant in the face and repeatedly verbally abused players ... but school officials did nothing about it -- this according to a new lawsuit obtained by TMZ Sports.

In the suit, one of the mental health doctors DePaul used regularly, Jenny Conviser, alleges she uncovered a pattern of abuse stemming from Eugene Lenti's softball program.

FYI, Lenti is a legend at the school ... coaching there for nearly 40 years and racking up more than 1,000 career wins.

Conviser -- a noted sports psychologist who worked with DePaul from 2005-2018 -- says in meetings with student-athlete patients in 2016 ... they told her Lenti exhibited abusive behavior often.

In the docs, Conviser says players told her the coach often called them "f**king whores" and "regularly punched them about their bodies," among other things.

Conviser says when she brought this to the attention of school officials ... they failed to properly investigate -- and says it's all because Lenti's sister, Jean Lenti Ponsetto, was the program's athletic director.

Conviser says in 2018, a similar incident happened ... when a patient told her Lenti, during a dispute, "had punched in the face his female Associate Head Coach."

Yet Conviser says when she brought this up to the school once again ... she claims officials not only didn't look into the allegations -- they attempted to cover them up.

In the docs, Conviser alleges the school allowed Lenti to "slip out the back door" and quietly retire. She also says the school fired Lenti's entire staff, including the alleged victim of the punching attack.

Conviser also claims the school terminated its involvement with her and her medical companies ... and also defamed her by painting her as a "befuddled and disgruntled vendor crassly using DePaul’s patients’ well-being as an excuse to extort money."

Conviser is now suing the school -- but not Lenti or other officials -- for retaliation, breach of contract, defamation and more.

We've reached out to DePaul for comment, but so far, no word back yet.

As for Lenti, he unretired one year after leaving DePaul ... and was hired as an assistant coach on Auburn's softball staff in 2019. He's currently still on the school's coaching roster.

We've reached out to Auburn for comment as well, but no word back yet there either.

2:21 PM PT -- We reached out to Conviser’s attorneys for comment — Ben Meiselas of Geragos & Geragos and Michael Popok of Zumpano Patricios & Popok — who tell us, “Dr. Conviser had been trying to change the corrupt and conflicted culture at DePaul and its Athletics Department from the inside for years."

"But leadership, including Lenti’s sister, put winning at all costs and the Blue Demon brand above the welfare of the student-athletes in their care. When the school -- taking a page out of the church’s playbook of letting bad priests transfer to the next Parrish -- permitted Lenti to move on to Auburn and the female student-athletes there. Dr. Conviser said enough is enough, and blew the whistle."

Originally Published -- 12:00 PM PT

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