Brian Wardle (AP)It took more than a month for Wisconsin-Green Bay to fully evaluate claims that coach Brian Wardle mistreated players, but the university has found that "a good deal of what was alleged did not occur."
As a result, Wardle will not only retain his job but also avoid either a fine or suspension.
What led UWGB to hire an independent investigator to look into Wardle's behavior was a series of alarming accusations by former forward Brennan Cougill and walk-on center Ryan Bross. In a story published last month by the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Bross claimed Wardle called him derogatory and homophobic slurs, interfered with his academic course choices and ran him when he was ill during preseason conditioning to the point where he lost control of his bowels.
The statement UWGB chancellor Tom Harden released Friday mostly defended Wardle's conduct, especially how he handled Bross' illness during preseason drills.
Evidence culled from interviews with more than two dozen individuals suggested Wardle neither forced Bross to keep running even though he wasn't feeling well or humiliated him in front of the team. Harden does acknowledge, however, that "Wardle should have more appropriately sent the player back to the locker room at an earlier point in the drill."
UWGB also largely dismissed Bross' claims that he was prevented from pursuing a certain major because the course load would interfere with basketball. The investigator found that, like all freshmen, Bross' course preferences weren't given the same priority when the team's practice schedule was set as they would have been were he an upperclassmen.Read More »from UW-Green Bay announces Brian Wardle will be retained despite allegations he mistreated players