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Green Bay coach faces verbal abuse allegation

The SportsXchange

Wisconsin-Green Bay officials are investigating allegations that men's basketball coach Brian Wardle verbally abused players.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported Thursday night that the school is looking into charges made by walk-on Ryan Bross and his family, who filed a complaint with the athletic department after the 7-foot-1 center who redshired this past season transferred to Concordia University.

University chancellor Thomas Harden confirmed that the school has launched an investigation and that it also will use an independent agency to look into the complaint. Meanwhile, Wardle is allowed to continue with his coaching duties.

"We're acting quickly," Harden told the Press-Gazette. "We're going to move assertively and bring this to a conclusion as fast as we can."

The allegations come in the wake of Rutgers firing former coach Mike Rice because of verbal and physical abuse in practices that was revealed on video.

"I will be supportive of this process, and I'm confident in the findings," Wardle said in a statement. "I will have no further comment until it is concluded."

Contents of the family's letter were not immediately accessible, but Harden categorized it as a complaint regarding mistreatment of a player.

The Press-Gazette said the accusation involved alleged verbal and emotional mistreatment but not physical abuse. The family refused to discuss details when contract by the Press-Gazette on Thursday.

"I've directed (Wardle) not to discuss it with his coaches and to do nothing that would be viewed as either impeding the investigation, which I don't think he would do anyway," Harden said. "But I did direct him not to do something or certainly not to do anything that would be punitive. He knew all of that, and he didn't really need to be told that, but I certainly did tell him."

Four players have transferred from the program in the past two months, the Press-Gazette reported.

Wardle has a 47-49 record in three seasons as coach.

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