One week after Rutgers head coach Mike Rice lost his job due to his verbal and physical abuse of players in practices, another Division I head coach is under investigation in regards to his treatment of a former player.
According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle is being investigated for the alleged “verbal and emotional mistreatment” of a former player.
The accusations were made in a letter to the school from the parents of freshman center Ryan Bross, who has announced his intention to transfer to Concordia (Wis.) University at the end of the semester.
Four players have left the program since February, including guards Kam Cerroni and Sultan Muhammad. The investigation will focus solely on the allegations regarding Wardle’s treatment of Bross, but with the recent departures there will be questions as to whether or not this is a sign of a bigger issue within the program.
When asked whether the letter he received was an isolated incident or a sign of a larger problem, Harden said: “I think that’s what we’re going to determine with the investigation. I don’t want to make an assumption one way or the other. We don’t have widespread complaints or allegations. We have this allegation, the complaint that I got Tuesday night, which we do think we need to check out, and we’re going to do it really well.”
Led by guard Keifer Sykes (15.9 ppg, 4.3 apg) and center Alec Brown (14.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg) the Phoenix finished the 2012-13 season with an 18-16 record (10-6 Horizon League), losing to eventual champion Valparaiso in the semifinals of the Horizon League tournament.
Harden stated that the situation at Rutgers had no impact on the decision to investigate Wardle’s behavior. However it’s likely that what was seen in those practice videos will lead to more attention being paid to the behavior of coaches in the future.