GREEN BAY, Wis. – As an independent investigation continues into accusations of mistreatment by University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men's basketball coach Brian Wardle, the player who made the initial complaint against Wardle has made his accusations public.
Ryan Bross, a former UWGB walk-on who plans to transfer to Concordia University for next school year, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that Wardle, a former standout player at Hinsdale Central High School, repeatedly used several profane and vulgar terms toward him, forced him to participate in preseason workout drills even when he wasn't feeling well, and encouraged him to have sex in order to become a better player.
“I can assure you the well-being of my players is foremost in my mind at all times,” Wardle said in a statement made to the Press-Gazette. “I cannot comment on the specific allegations under federal privacy laws. I can say the version of events … is inaccurate. I have fully cooperated with the independent investigator, as have our players and coaches. I fully expect that the eyewitness accounts to these allegations … will contradict the version (being reported).”
Bross also said that Wardle interfered with his class schedule. Hoping to major in human biology as a precursor to a medical degree, Bross said Wardle told his academic advisor that Bross was prohibited from taking a biology class that would have counted toward his major. Bross also said Wardle blocked him from taking a chemistry class during the second semester.
Green Bay attorney Joseph Nicks, who is leading the investigation, interviewed Bross Monday, according to the Press-Gazette report. Several other players and former players were interviewed during the past two weeks. It is unclear how many more interviews Nicks still has to conduct before his investigation ends.
In his interview with the Press-Gazette, Bross said that he did not speak up about the mistreatment sooner because he was afraid he would be kicked off the team or have something else happen to him.