Dear college basketball recruits, if a white coach named Greg (g) from a program in the Midwest calls you, block him on your phone.
Wisconsin’s men’s basketball program is in disarray after a 37-minute tape was sent to Wisconsin State Journal. The sound was secretly recorded on Feb. 19 when head coach Greg Gard, three assistant coaches and seven seniors had a “come to Jesus” meeting.
It got ugly – and apparently no one likes Gard. Here are some of the excerpts.
“Did I waste a year of my life coming back here? I was planning to come back, have a good year and do a Final Four race, all this kind of stuff, and then this shit happens. And it’s like no one knows what to do, and it’s all this rubbish, and it’s because of a break with you. ”- Micah Potter.
“I can not talk to you. I just do not want to talk to you. After this, coach, I do not know what type of relationship we should have if we have one. ”- Nate Reuvers.
“Last year we played for each other, but we also played for you. I feel like the interruption is that we are not playing for you right now. We are not here to build your resume, so to speak, with all due respect given. ”- D’Mitrik Trice.
“I do not know if I will ever talk to you again after this. We’re not even talking here. I avoid talking to you here, so why do I want to talk to you when I travel? I can not have a conversation with you. ”- Walt McGrory.
If it feels like drama on this program with Gard in charge is a recurring theme, you’re right. In January 2020, Kobe King – one of the few black players that Wisconsin had on his list that season (which is also an annual number) – was branded as an end to the public, bashed by fans and alumni, and had his integrity questioned by college insider Andy Katz, after the team’s second leading goal scorer suddenly left the program.
Come to find out: King left because Erik Helland, the team’s former strength and conditioning coach, used the N-word around a group of players.
“I owned it. I said the word, ” Helland told ESPN.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, I’m such an idiot,’ Helland explained. “I never denied it. … I’m human, fallible. I made a mistake. This one cost me my job. ”
The moment was the last straw for King as he had been having trouble with Gard for a while.
“I just talked to him about the way we talked as a team,” King told me Wisconsin State Journal. “It’s not always about negativity because I’ve seen it.”
Like Clockwork, Wisconsin performs damage control and has thrown their support behind Gard, though only one of the seven seniors who were in that meeting will return next season due to the NCAA giving players an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic . In 2019-20, Gard was the Big Ten Coach of the Year; and in his six seasons at Madison, he is 119-70 and has made the NCAA Tournament four times. The Badgers lost in the second round of the 2021 tournament.
And in keeping with the tradition of terrible coaches named Greg (g) in the sport, Greg McDermott is still at Creighton after telling his team, “Guys, we need to stick together. We need both feet. I need everyone to stay on the plantation. I can not have anyone to leave the plantation, “Last season. The school punched him in the wrist and he was suspended for a few days, but nothing happened in terms of his job security. However, McDermott’s racism caused him to lose the precious recruiter TyTy Washington, who freed from Creighton and eventually signed with Kentucky after the story broke.
“It was definitely the controversy,” Washington told The Athletic. “I really wanted to attend Creighton. It felt like the situation and plan that Coach McDermott had for me was really good. So it was a little heartbreaking when I first found out what he was saying. I just wanted the day and age we live in – a police officer just killed another young black man for no reason – he said something like that, it’s just not true. ”
And last fall we found out the former Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall could be a violent lunatic after it was alleged that he strangled one of his assistants, hit a player, body-slammed another, and made fun of a third-party Native American legacy. After a long investigation Marshall withdrew and agreed to a $ 7.75 million contract settlement.
Bad behavior by white coaches is not only tolerated in college basketball, it also pays well and usually allows you to keep your job (but pays well, even when you do not, in Marshall’s case). And as the world opens up again as coaches are recruiting, very soon Greg Gard will be sitting in front of a player and his family delivering his pitch. He will more than likely address the situation, apologize and talk about how he has learned and changed. And at that point, a teenager has to make a difficult decision because the adults in Wisconsin would not just do the right thing and fire him.