Players defend UWGB coach on radio
April, 30, 2013
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
WNFL Radio in Green Bay has audio of an interview with forward Alec Brown, who defended Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Brian Wardle against allegations of player abuse leveled at him this month by the parents of former players. UWGB has launched an internal investigation into the matter, which received even more public attention Tuesday afternoon, after former player Ryan Bross outlined his complaints to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Brown is one of two players who openly defended Wardle on the radio Tuesday, saying the team wouldn't hesitate to bring its dissatisfactions to the coaching staff. He likewise accused his fellow players of lying:
"Honestly, I don't agree with the things that are being said," Brown told WNFL. "I've been there the longest of any of the guys, and I feel like if I had personally seen any of this happening, I wouldn't still be here. A lot of this stuff is not happening the way it seems that it is."
When asked what has surprised him the most about the situation, Brown said:
"Just the way that some ... I don't ... the way that some players viewed certain situations. And like, the way they can lie about some things is just amazing because of some of these guys were really close to us, teammates, like brothers."
When asked if he ever saw anything that went "over the line," Brown said he didn't "believe so." When asked if he thought his former teammates were lying, he said "Yes, I believe so."
Team captain Keifer Sykes also joined the Maino and Nick Show Tuesday afternoon, and he was just as effusive in his frustration and confusion.
"It was just shocking that all this came about because everyone knows Coach has our best interests in mind, he never did anything to abuse anyone. This is crazy.
"I mean, clearly the guys making these allegations are not in the program anymore. I guess when you leave they wanted to tear it down. But the truth will come out. In every situation it was 20 people there. Some people who are writing letters were never even around when anything or any of those allegations happened. The truth should come out and it should all play itself out."
When asked whether the most graphic situation Bross describes -- when he allegedly vacated his bowels during a preseason "boot camp" running drill -- did in fact happen, Sykes responded:
"It happened, when he voided himself, but the context is definitely skewed. I was there the whole time trying to motivate him to keep going. He was given the option to stop or keep going. He decided to keep going. No one made anyone do anything. He's a grown man.
"He was given the option. He was being a team guy and he didn't want to quit, I was there the whole time trying to motivate him. … That was by far the hardest drill we did all year and the context was definitely skewed. It's just crazy that someone could say that.