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Second Green Bay player alleges misconduct by coach Brian Wardle

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Brennan Cougill is the second Green Bay player to allege misconduct by Phoenix coach Brian Wardle. (USATSI)

Last week, Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Brian Wardle had a formal complaint filed against him on behalf of a former walk-on for alleged verbal abuse. The university then launched an independent investigation into the matter, which is ongoing.

Now the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports a second former player -- Brennan Cougill -- has alleged mistreatment against Wardle, and like the first (walk-on Ryan Bross), he had a parent send a letter to the school on his behalf. The Press-Gazette's story states Gina Cougill was prompted to write to school chancellor Thomas Harden after learning of Bross' complaint.

In her letter, which she made available to Press-Gazette Media, Gina Cougill wrote that she felt it was imperative that Harden was aware of “some of the situations I was either directly involved in, was directly told by my son, (by) other players and (by) parents of other players.”

“These young men were entrusted to the UWGB coaching staff to mold and shape them into adulthood,” she wrote. “That statement itself makes me quiver because, from my perspective, the only shaping has been verbal abuse and bullying toward most of the players.”

Among the issues addressed in the letter was Gina Cougill's assertion that her son's clinical depression was categorized by Wardle as a distraction to the team. She added that Brennan's experience pales in comparison to what other players have been subjected to.

“I do believe other families have bigger issues than what mine are,” Gina Cougill said in an interview. “I have wrist slaps. They have legitimate gripes.”

The story greatly details Gina Cougill's issues with her son's treatment by Wardle and the program, how her and her son's complaints were dismissed as "distractions" multiple times during the season. Cougill, a senior this past season, was named Mr. Basketball in Iowa in 2009. He played for the University of Iowa before transferring to Green Bay in 2010. He played the past two seasons for Wardle, appearing in 60 games and averaging 9.1 points.

Brennan Cougill told the Press-Gazette that he was inspired to break his silence in part because of criticism against Bross, who Cougill said has "proof behind everything he's saying."

Cougill was suspended four games during the 2012-13 season for an academic violation of team rules. His mother told the newspaper that Wardle forbade her to call him amid that suspension, and she added that her son wasn't the most devoted of students.

The university's investigation continues to formulate independently through an outside company, handled by local attorney Joseph Nicks via the Godfrey & Kahn law firm.

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