UW-Green Bay investigating coach
by Rob Demovsky, USA TODAY Sports
GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has opened an investigation of men’s basketball coach Brian Wardle after the school received a complaint from the parents of a former player, alleging mistreatment.
University chancellor Thomas Harden told Press-Gazette Media on Thursday that an outside agency will look into the accusations made by the parents of freshman center Ryan Bross.
“We’re acting quickly,” Harden said. “We’re going to move assertively and bring this to a conclusion as fast as we can.”
Bross, a 7-foot-1 walk-on from Menomonee Falls who redshirted this past season, decided to leave the program after the season and plans to transfer to Concordia University in Mequon next season. The university did not immediately respond to an open records request asking for a copy of the letter sent by Bross’ parents. Harden did not discuss the specifics of the letter but said it was the genesis for investigating a claim of mistreatment of a player.
“I think that would categorize the complaint,” Harden said.
Sources familiar with the complaint said the accusation alleged verbal and emotional mistreatment by Wardle but not physical abuse.
Wardle, who will be allowed to work during the investigation, issued the following statement: “I will be supportive of this process and I’m confident in the findings. I will have no further comment until it is concluded.”
UWGB athletics director Ken Bothof was out of town and did not respond to a voice message or an email.
Bross’ mother, Brooke, would not reveal the specifics of the letter.
“We don’t want this to be tried in the media,” she said. “We want the investigation to run its course.”
Harden said he received the letter Tuesday evening.
“Wednesday morning, I responded to them with an email saying that I consider their allegations serious, and that we would start an investigation,” Harden said. “How long will it take? We don’t really know. We intend to start it right away, but we don’t know just how long it will take. We’ll move as quickly as we can, but we’ll be thorough, too.”
The athletic department held a team meeting Thursday afternoon to inform the players of the investigation, according … [For more on UW-Green Bay investigating coach Brian Wardle for alleged player mistreatment, click here.]