The University of Wisconsin Green Bay announced on Friday that its head coach, Brian Wardle, would keep his job.
Wardle has spent the past month as the center subject of an independent investigation by the university after two former players alleged Wardle physically embarrassed and verbally mistreated them. (Current Green Bay players have said the claims were false.) The allegations included homosexual slurs and other vulgar language.
The investigation, spearheaded by a local attorney, detailed interviews with nearly 30 people in and around the Phoenix basketball program. The findings from the investigation state that much of what was alleged by Ryan Bross and Brennan Cougill "did not occur" per the way the accusations were presented in both players' formal complaints to the school.
"I am happy this investigation has been completed and I accept the university's decision," Wardle said via a written statement Friday. "Throughout this process, my primary concern was for my family, and the members of our program, who had to deal with allegations that the investigation has proven to be false."
School chancellor Tom Harden called the investigation's report "helpful in understanding what is factual, what is not, and what areas remain unclear. I have thoroughly reviewed the report, and I believe it has provided a sound basis for my decisions regarding Coach Wardle and his status here at UW-Green Bay."
The findings report from the investigation is embedded at the bottom of this story.
Harden added, "It is clear from Mr. Nicks' report that there is no evidence Coach Wardle, the coach's staff, or others engaged in physical abuse at any time."
There was concession on behalf of Harden and the investigator that Wardle's behavior regarding a preseason drill that led to Bross soiling himself could have been handled better.
The school's action against Wardle will include a "Statement of Expectations" to be sent out within the next two months. Other action to come against Wardle:
-- He will have no contract renegotiation. (Wardle is currently signed through 2017.)
-- He will be subject to "a disciplinary letter."
-- He will have an adviser to oversee his coaching/teaching skills during the 2013-14 season.
-- He will be asked to be more integrated into general Green Bay university activities going forward, "to better understand the broader University environment."
"As a head coach it is my responsibility to care for our student athletes as if they were my own children," Wardle said. "Their personal development is very important to me. I have done a tremendous amount of reflection and self-examination over the past several months that will help me improve as a coach. I am confident that our players are in a healthy environment where they can reach their academic and athletic potential."