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Domestic dispute led Johnson to withdraw from Charleston search

Charleston great Anthony Johnson withdrew his name from consideration for the College of Charleston coaching vacancy after it became known that he was involved in a domestic dispute with his then-wife in 2011, CBSSports.com confirmed on Thursday.

The Post and Courier initially reported the development earlier Thursday.

Johnson spoke to the local newspaper about the incident.

He and his ex-wife, Crystal, were married at the time.

They are now trying to reconcile.

"I let a lot of people down who were really supportive of me throughout this entire process," Johnson told the paper. "I let down my wife, my family and the College of Charleston and the Cougar community. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for this."

CBSSports.com reported on Aug. 5 -- the day Charleston fired Doug Wojcik for cause after multiple investigations into allegations of verbal and physical abuse of players and staffers -- that there was internal support to hire Johnson. A day later, CBSSports.com also reported that first-year president Glenn McConnell was facing internal and external pressure to hire Johnson or a minority in general in hopes of maybe alleviating some of the criticism the school received when it hired McConnell, who has a controversial background as a promoter of Confederate history. Sources told CBSSports.com on Wednesday that McConnell was close to doing exactly, but the domestic dispute changed everything and effectively reset Charleston's search more than three weeks after Wojcik was fired.

The five other candidates who have interviewed with Charleston are Clemson assistant Earl Grant, UConn assistant Karl Hobbs, N.C. State assistant Bobby Lutz, Virginia assistant Ritchie McKay and Wofford head coach Mike Young, the last of whom also withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday. Sources told CBSSports.com that McKay and Hobbs, both of whom are African-American, are now considered the frontrunners.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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