Robinson Secondary School girls basketball coach Traci Schneeweis, who led the Rams to the Virginia AAA state championship last year, has been suspended from coaching after months of complaints from parents and players about her coaching methods.

Schneeweis, in her seventh season, has a record of 103-35, including 3-0 this season. Her team is ranked No. 2 and defeated Hayfield, 47-27, last night under the direction of Greg Croghan, an assistant principal who formerly coached the Marshall boys varsity.

Parents and players have talked with Principal William Jackson and the Human Relations Commission of the Fairfax County school board since last spring, charging that Schneeweis embarrassed players in front of other players, reduced playing time of players she didn't like, and verbally abused players so much at practice that some left the gymnasium in tears.

The Human Relations Commission agreed to "monitor" Schneeweis this season, and had staff members at Robinson's first three games. But neither Jackson nor Mary Erard of the Human Relations Commission would say yesterday what specifically triggered the suspension.

"The Human Relations Commission is looking into it, but we did this until I felt I could get a better understanding of it," said Jackson, who added it was his decision to suspend Schneeweis from coaching, which was first reported in Thursday's Fairfax Journal. Her position as a physical education teacher is not affected.

On Monday, Schneeweis acknowledged she knew about the monitoring but said she did not expect further action. "As far as feeling watched, well, I am used to that. People are watching you in some way from Day One when you take a job like this."

Last night, Schneeweis, a Jefferson High graduate who played at Old Dominion and Penn State, said she was surprised by the suspension. She said Jackson gave her a reason for suspension, but "it was not a very good one."

She said she is confident she would be vindicated of the charges: "I don't know a coach that doesn't yell, but I do not verbally abuse anyone. Some of these parents are coming up with fabrications because some of their daughters don't play. They are obsessed with this, but if you put their daughters on the floor, you will see who can play and who can't.

"But there are two sides to everything and I am ready to prove everything they are saying is false. I have evidence to show it."

Varsity assistant Richard Dauphin and junior varsity coach Angela Hensley stepped down from their positions -- "to show their faith in me," Schweenweis said -- until the matter has been resolved.

Jackson said that along with Croghan, Janet Colegrove, another assistant principal, will take over the basketball program.

Dan Jackson, head of the Human Relations Commission, made the decision to monitor Schneeweis, although he said Schneeweis "has not broken any rules.

"I am happy to say this is not an annual thing, but we get complaints about many things, from how cheerleaders are chosen to amounts of playing time," he said. "I found this case fascinating because I never had a complaint from a championship team. Here is a state champion and the girls are not at all happy."

This season the Rams returned two of the area's top players: junior Heather Phillips and senior Karen Sheehan. Their parents are among the group that had been complaining. This week, John Sheehan said his family no longer wanted to be involved with the issue.

Three members of last year's championship team -- Deanne Wozny, Kim Krist and Laura Zelnio -- elected to not go out for the team this fall, citing problems with Schneeweis. Cathy Robertson, a sophomore this year who started at point guard on last year's junior varsity, said she was denied the opportunity to try out because her father is among those who had lodged complaints.

"I was the only one on the junior varsity who {Schneeweis} wouldn't even let try out for the varsity," she said. "I quit because I didn't think I had anything to learn on {the junior varsity} level. . . . I have no regrets about what my parents did because it turned out what they did was right."

Schneeweis said last night that she had three point guards she believed were better than Robertson.

One of the leaders of the parents group is Bonny Forst, whose daughter, senior Keri Webster, had problems with Schneeweis since last season. Webster, who played on summer AAU teams, was not given any playing time in Robinson's opening victory over Lee. She quit before the next game.

"I do love to play basketball, but because of Ms. Schneeweis I couldn't," said Webster. "She put a lot of pressure on me and on my school work. When I quit, it was a relief."

Phillips said the players "were shocked" when William Jackson called the team together and said Schneeweis had been suspended.

"I know some people are glad and feel it is a big relief," she said. "But I have been through two years of this, so nothing surprises me anymore."