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Sport Leaked recording reveals conflict between Wisconsin men's basketball players, coach Greg Gard

10:35  23 june  2021
10:35  23 june  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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– Chris McIntosh, set to officially replace Barry Alvarez as University of Wisconsin athletics director in a little more than a week, vigorously defended men ’ s basketball coach Greg Gard on Tuesday. McIntosh shared his thoughts in the wake of a leaked audio recording from a meeting held one day after Wisconsin ’s 77-62 home loss to Iowa on 18. The edited recording , furnished Monday to the Wisconsin State Journal, includes critical comments from the team’s seven seniors. “In terms of going forward, Greg has our support,” McIntosh said Tuesday by phone. “Does (this) make it easier for us?

The Wisconsin basketball team' s seniors had issues with Greg Gard during the 2020-21 season. Apparently, their struggles stemmed from tensions between the team and coach Greg Gard . Many of the Badgers players felt a "disconnect" with the sixth-year coach during the 2020-21 season, and the team' s seven seniors held a Feb. 19 meeting with Gard to vent their frustrations after a 77-62 loss to Iowa the day before dropped them to 15-8 (9-7 in Big Ten play ) with four regular-season games left.

MADISON, Wis. – Chris McIntosh, set to officially replace Barry Alvarez as University of Wisconsin athletics director in a little more than a week, vigorously defended men’s basketball coach Greg Gard on Tuesday.

McIntosh shared his thoughts in the wake of a leaked audio recording from a meeting held one day after Wisconsin's 77-62 home loss to Iowa on Feb. 18. The edited recording, furnished Monday to the Wisconsin State Journal, includes critical comments from the team’s seven seniors.

Wisconsin's Brad Davison (34), Micah Potter (11), Aleem Ford (2) and D'Mitrik Trice (0) celebrate a three-pointer by Jordan Davis during in the waning moments of their first-round rout of North Carolina. © Robert Franklin, Associated Press Wisconsin's Brad Davison (34), Micah Potter (11), Aleem Ford (2) and D'Mitrik Trice (0) celebrate a three-pointer by Jordan Davis during in the waning moments of their first-round rout of North Carolina.

“In terms of going forward, Greg has our support,” McIntosh said Tuesday by phone. “Does (this) make it easier for us? It doesn’t. But I think we understand what Coach Gard is all about and how much he does care about his players.

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MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin 's seniors were openly critical of coach Greg Gard during a late-season team meeting that was secretly recorded and later got sent to the Wisconsin State Journal. The newspaper says it received a 37-minute audio file this week of a Feb. 19 team meeting that included seven senior players , Gard and three assistant 19 meeting between the seven seniors on the 2020-21 Wisconsin men ' s basketball team, head coach Greg Gard and his coaching staff was secretly

Gard and the program have been under serious fire all day Tuesday after the Wisconsin State Journal revealed secretly recorded audio showed several seniors airing grievances with the face of the basketball program. Multiple players complained about Gard ’ s attitude towards players and their belief that he didn’t care about them. Personally, it sounded like a lot of complaining, but it’ s still been an ugly day for the team. The #Badgers seniors asked for a meeting with Greg Gard in mid-February. It lasted 2 hours and a 37-minute portion was recorded and shared.

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“Our assessment of that takes place on a day-by-day basis over the course of years. Not one recording that was edited.”

It is unclear who recorded the meeting, which involved the coaching staff and the seven seniors; who chose to release the recording; and if any of the attendees knew they were being recorded.

Many of the comments from the seniors were blunt.

“I just feel like, Coach, we don’t have a relationship,” said Nate Reuvers, who struggled in his final season. “In my mind, it’s too late for that. I personally don’t think or feel like you care about our future aspirations.

“I can’t talk to you. I just don’t want to talk to you. After this, Coach, I don’t know what type of relationship we’re going to have, if we have one.”

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Wisconsin ’s seven senior men ’ s basketball players confronted coach Greg Gard and his staff last season over a “disconnect” players felt between them and Gard , issues within the culture of the program and other grievances, the Wisconsin State The meeting included specific grievances in which they felt Gard did not have their back, did not care for them or that they were being used by him only to improve his coaching resume. Most of all, their complaints stemmed from an apparent disconnect in which the relationship between Gard and the players was either fractured or nonexistent.

Gregory Glen Gard (born December 3, 1970) is an American college basketball coach for the Wisconsin Badgers. Gard took over on December 15, 2015

Aleem Ford expressed dissatisfaction with the environment fostered by Gard.

“After I’m done here,” he said, “I don’t know if I would want to come back. It doesn’t feel like home even though I’ve spent the last five years here. I’m from Georgia, I barely go home and this doesn’t feel like home away from home …

“I don’t know if I would want my son to come here or if I would tell people to come here and play for this program because I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what I went through.”

Guard D’Mitrik Trice noted the relationship between the players and Gard changed from the 2019-’20 season to last season.

Wisconsin won its final eight regular-season games to claim a share of the 2020 Big Ten title but the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the NCAA tournament.

“Last year, we were playing for one another, but we were also playing for you,” Trice said. “I feel like the disconnect is we’re not playing for you right now. We’re not here to build your résumé, so to speak, with all respect given.”

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Ben shared his instant reaction to @JimPolzinWSJ's article about Greg Gard 's meeting with seniors of the Wisconsin Men ' s Basketball team last season. pic.twitter.com/ajFbAInTOH. Why did it sound like the players practiced their lines before speaking? 10000% believe an assistant coach leaked that to get gard fired.

Greg Gard , Bo Ryan' s longtime assistant at Wisconsin , stayed close to home rather than move up the coaching ladder. Now he' s taking over for his mentor as interim coach of the Badgers. Ryan said that when Bill Carmody coached at Northwestern, Gard had the Wisconsin scout team so prepared that they ran the Princeton offense to near perfection. And it' s not, Ryan said, a coincidence that the Badgers have the only winning record against Tom Izzo- coached Michigan State among Big Ten foes.

Forward Micah Potter, who played a key role in leading the Badgers to the league title two seasons ago, questioned whether he made the right move returning for the 2020-’21 season.

“Did I waste a year of my life to come back here?” he said. “I was planning on coming back, having a great year and making a Final Four run, all this kind of stuff and then this crap happens.

“And it’s like, no one knows what to do and it’s all this rut and it’s because of a disconnect with you.”

Guard Trevor Anderson, who announced after the end of last season he was transferring to Valparaiso for his final season, complained that Gard had a habit of assigning blame to players after losses.

“You always ask, ‘Why is everybody getting so defensive? Why can’t anybody take it?’ ” he said. “I think that’s what you do to us, you’re always pointing the finger.

“I think the defense mechanism is everybody’s pointing the finger at somebody else — I’m pointing at Brad, Brad’s pointing at Aleem — I think that comes down to a lot of, like, what you do to us.”

Gard released a statement Tuesday. It read, in part:

"I care deeply about the student-athletes in our program. I want nothing more than to help them and see them succeed on and off the court. Our program has a lengthy track record of doing both.

"But the path to a championship or to graduation is never easy. Sometimes there are setbacks. Difficult conversations have to be had. Sometimes people just need to get things off their chest.

"At the end of the day, I believe we are all better for having gone through challenging moments.

"I, along with my assistant coaches, have our players' backs. I am fully committed to their development as basketball players, students and young men. And I am willing and  open to conversations with our players any time in an effort to achieve their goals and those of  our program.

"I am glad our seniors felt comfortable enough to come forward and give me an opportunity to address their concerns."

In addition to defending Gard, McIntosh was not happy to see someone record the meeting, edit the recording and then release it.

“From my own experience, I’ve been a part of, as an athlete, difficult conversations, closed-door conversations, with my teammates and my coaches,” said McIntosh, who played left tackle under Alvarez from 1996 through 1999. “And there is a level of trust that is expected when that happens.

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“Every season has its ups and downs and adversity. Some of the most memorable seasons occur when you have a team come together and you have conversations that are raw and heartfelt. Some of the best success stories come from moments that are like that.

“It is disappointing that trust was broken in this case. Those are conversations that should be kept in the locker room.

“The fact that a recording was shared publicly and it was edited, I think it is terrible.”

The Badgers were expected to challenge for another league title last season but they finished 10-10 in the league and then went 1-1 in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments and finished 18-13 overall.

All seven seniors had the option of returning for the 2021-2022 season.

Reuvers, Potter, Ford and Trice are pursuing professional options. Anderson (Valparaiso) opted to transfer, as did Walt McGrory (South Dakota).

Guard Brad Davison is the lone senior coming back.

“We desire a relationship with you where you know who we are, that you care for us, that you value us more than just on the basketball court,” Davison said during the meeting. “We want that and feel like we’ve lacked that in certain areas.”

McIntosh was asked why someone would choose to record the meeting and share the comments publicly.

"I don't want to speculate," he said. "But it is hard for me to imagine how someone who cares about our program, could record and share an edited version of that recording publicly.”

Follow Jeff Potrykus on Twitter @jaypo1961

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Leaked recording reveals conflict between Wisconsin men's basketball players, coach Greg Gard

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usr: 7
This is interesting!