Former George Washington guard Maurice Creek, left, expressed support for Coach Mike Lonergan, whom the school is investigating following complaints from other players that he was verbally and emotionally abusive. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

George Washington University will hire outside counsel to help conduct a Title IX investigation into allegations by some men’s basketball players that they were victims of verbal and emotional abuse committed by Coach Mike Lonergan.

“The George Washington University is undertaking a Title IX review of allegations against men’s basketball coach Mike Lonergan,” the university said in a statement. “Some of the reported allegations go beyond the scope of Title IX, and the university is bringing in outside counsel to assist in its investigation. The university expects full cooperation and will not tolerate retaliation during the course of the investigation. We will also continue to inform the student-athletes on our men’s basketball team of the university’s support and of the resources available to them.”

A George Washington spokesman said Friday that school officials had no further comment on the matter.

The announcement of the investigation came in the wake of a story published by The Washington Post that detailed the complaints of five former and current players that Lonergan was abusive and used graphic and inappropriate language in rants about Patrick Nero, the school’s athletic director.

The current and former George Washington players and staffers requested anonymity because they feared reprisals that could affect their careers.

Several people with knowledge of the situation said school officials fielded complaints about Lonergan’s behavior after the 2014-15 season and took steps internally to address the issue. Athletic department officials addressed his language and requested practice tapes for review, people within the program said. Senior associate athletics director Ed Scott traveled with the team this past season and attended practices.

In April, after the season culminated in a National Invitation Tournament championship, another player brought complaints about Lonergan to Title IX coordinator Rory Muhammad. In an email exchange that followed, copies of which were obtained by The Post, Muhammad wrote: “I will take steps to reach out to other players identified based on an anonymous report that they may information [sic] related to what we discussed. Feel free to contact me if you need to.”

It is unclear how Muhammad proceeded.

Lonergan, who has declined multiple interview requests by The Post, defended his coaching style in a Facebook post published early Friday morning from Las Vegas, where he is recruiting on behalf of the Colonials.

“I have always loved my family and that family includes our basketball family,” wrote Lonergan, 50. “My life is dedicated to them. I have never done anything but love my players and supported them on and off the court — not just for 4 years but for life. That will continue. I want to thank all my players and their parents who publicly and privately supported me [Thursday] and refuted the false allegations made against me. You are the reason I have been able to live such a blessed life.”

Several of Lonergan’s former players have expressed support for him over the past 24 hours.

Former star Maurice Creek, who played one season under Lonergan, said in an interview with “The Sports Junkies” on 106.7 FM that Lonergan “never crossed the line with me; he never crossed the line with any of the guys. He just wanted to win.”

Another former star under Lonergan, forward Isaiah Armwood, wrote on his Twitter account that he and Lonergan “bumped heads often, but this story is ridiculous.”

Patricio Garino, George Washington’s second-leading scorer as a senior this past winter, also expressed his “shock” at learning of the allegations made against Lonergan and took issue with former teammates complaining anonymously.

“Coach is very old-school,” Garino wrote in part on Twitter, “and he’s gonna push you to the limits to reach your potential.”