GREEN BAY - Ryan Bross was the first player to allege verbal and emotional abuse by UW-Green Bay men's basketball coach Brian Wardle. Now he's detailing the allegations.
Bross talked about the allegations during an interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette. FOX 11 has now confirmed the statements made in the article with Bross's lawyer.
Bross claims Phoenix men's basketball coach Brian Wardle forced him to workout despite telling the coach he was sick.
During the workout, Bross said he lost control of his bowels, and Wardle later ridiculed him for the incident.
Bross also alleges Wardle called him inappropriate names.
Bross further claimed Wardle would not let him take certain classes he needed for his major, because they may interfere with basketball.
In an e-mail to FOX 11, Bross's attorney said: "Ryan Bross is considering all of his options and remedies. Ryan and his parents want Coach Wardle held accountable for his behavior."
Wardle continues to decline comment on the situation, but released a statement about the allegations, reading: "I can assure you the well-being of my players is foremost in my mind at all times. I cannot comment on the specific allegations under federal privacy laws. I can say the version of events [the Press-Gazette is] reporting is inaccurate. I have fully cooperated with the independent investigator, as have our players and coaches. I fully expect the eyewitnesses to these allegations you are reporting will contradict the version you are reporting."
Tuesday, two current Phoenix players went on the radio station WNFL-AM to express their support for Coach Wardle.
"It was just shocking this came about," said sophomore guard Keifer Sykes. "I feel like everyone knows coach has the best interest of everyone in mind and I feel like he never did anything to abuse anyone.""
"Obviously, I don't agree with things that have been said." said junior center Alec Brown. "I've been there the longest out of any of the guys. I feel like if I have personally seen any of this happen, I wouldn't still be here. A whole lot of this stuff is not happening the way it's being said."
Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone told FOX 11 he is monitoring the situation, but didn't want to speculate on any outcome.
He did say the recent abuse situation with Rutgers men's basketball has everyone in the sport refocused on the issue of potential abuse by coaches.
"I don't think it changes anything," LeCrone said during a phone interview. "I think it has raised awareness, not only for our league, but for everyone in the country. You want to be sure that anything that of this type that possibly could be occurring is looked into and certainly that's what Green Bay's doing."
A university spokesman told FOX 11 the independent investigator is still interviewing interested parties, and the university could receive the investigator's report as soon as next week.
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