College of Charleston fires embattled Wojcik
Updated: August 5, 2014, 4:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services
College of Charleston men’s basketball coach Doug Wojcik has been fired, the school announced Tuesday.
An investigation by College of Charleston last month found that Wojcik likely verbally abused players, using threatening, degrading and profane language in dealing with the team — including using a homophobic slur against one player.
Wojcik denied using the slur against the player in the report.
John Cordes/Icon SMIDoug Wojcik, who was investigated for verbal abuse of his players earlier this summer, is out at College of Charleston.
“I am writing today to let you know I have made the decision to terminate Head Men’s Basketball Coach Doug Wojcik’s employment at the College of Charleston for just cause, pursuant to the terms of his contract, effective immediately,” school president Glenn F. McConnell said in a letter to the school.
Wojcik was suspended without pay by the school for the entire month of August. He also was told to undergo long-term counseling and monitoring.
In a statement released by his attorney, Scott Tompsett, on Tuesday, Wojcik said the school’s decision will not bring closure to the situation.
“Coach Wojcik reiterates what he said over a month ago; he’s sincerely remorseful and apologizes publicly to those he hurt emotionally or offended,” the statement said. “He is a better person because of this experience and he’ll be a better coach. He cooperated fully with the College’s first investigation and accepted President Benson’s sanctions. It’s unfortunate that the College did not leave it at that.”
Wojcik also pointed a finger at the school for its handling of the situation.
“The College became so desperate to invent a reason to fire Coach Wojcik that it had some of the young men on the basketball team sign sworn affidavits, which we believe contain materially false statements,” Wojcik’s statement said. “The College even got one of the incoming freshmen, who has never even played for Coach Wojcik, to swear under oath that he was physically abused by Coach Wojcik. The College’s so-called second investigation was so focused on finding a way to avoid its contractual obligations, that the College completed the investigation and began termination proceedings against Coach Wojcik without even looking at the video of the incidents of alleged physical abuse. We were forced to release the video to the public to show that there was no physical abuse. There are many other examples of the College’s attempt to create a reason to avoid its contractual obligations. They will come out at the appropriate time.”
Wojcik came to the College of Charleston after the 2011-12 season, taking over for the retiring Bobby Cremins. The Cougars went 24-11 and reached the finals of the Southern Conference tournament championship in Wojcik’s first season and were 14-18 this past season, their first in the CAA.
McConnell said athletic director Joe Hull will be responsible for the program, effective immediately.
“I’m confident that our basketball program, and all our athletics programs, will continue to exemplify the high standards and outstanding reputation of the College, and I, along with other members of this administration, am dedicated to this end,” McConnell said.