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Player’s dad defends UW-Green Bay coach Brian Wardle

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The father of one University of Wisconsin-Green Bay basketball player has spoken out in support of coach Brian Wardle, who is under investigation amid allegations he mistreated players.

Orrin Brown, the father of junior center Alec Brown, said his son has never reported any kind of abuse or mistreatment.

“He’s always thought of Coach Wardle as a very demanding and passionate coach but never complained about any treatment that he has received or even observed from Brian,” Orrin Brown told the Green Bay Press-Gazette for a story published Wednesday. “He’s never felt the need to involve any of us in interactions or dealing with the coach, and we’ve never felt like we needed to intervene on his behalf.”

The university announced last week that it was investigating Wardle after receiving a complaint from the parents of former freshman center Ryan Bross. The parents of a second player, senior forward Brennan Cougill, also have filed a complaint.

Bross’ parents have declined to discuss the specifics of their complaint. Cougill’s mother, Gina Cougill, accused Wardle of minimizing her son’s clinical depression as a “distraction” to the team.

Orrin Brown said others have sent letters to the university supporting Wardle.

“All of our experiences with Brian have always been very positive,” he said. “He truly cares and has concern for our son, and I would assume all the young men in his program, not only as a basketball player and as a student. Alec has done nothing but grow in all ways since he’s been there, and Brian is largely responsible for that.”

Wardle has declined to comment until the investigation is completed.

Orrin Brown said his son is still deciding whether to declare for the NBA draft. The deadline is April 28.

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