Attorney: Wojcik 'intends to fulfill contract' - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Attorney: Wojcik 'intends to fulfill contract'

Posted: Updated:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- College of Charleston's head basketball coach has no plans of leaving his post before his contract is up -- in three years.

That's the word from his attorney Saturday afternoon.

According to a release from attorney Scott Tompsett, Wojcik has no plans to quit and he wants to remain the head coach at the College.

"Coach Wojcik cooperated with the College’s investigation and he accepted the College’s sanctions. As far as he’s concerned, the investigation is over. And Coach Wojcik has started making amends and working on correcting his actions, as set forth in President Benson’s decision. We’re hopeful the team will move forward with him toward a successful season in the Colonial Athletic Association," Tompsett said on behalf of Wojcik.

"I’m speaking for myself when I say this; everyone deserves a chance to correct their mistakes. This is the first time the College received complaints, and it did the right thing by conducting a thorough investigation and bringing it to Coach Wojcik’s attention. He’s taken this very seriously, as he should. And since the investigation began right through to President Benson’s decision, he’s been cooperative and compliant. And like anyone else, Coach Wojcik deserves a chance to make things right."

Tompsett, a Kansas City attorney, might seem like an odd choice for a Charleston-based basketball coach. But Tompsett has 20 years of experience representing school and coaches during NCAA infractions cases. He represented the mother of Ryan Boatright in the University of Connecticut eligibility case in 2011.

In Tompsett's release to ABC News 4 and the Post and Courier's Andrew Miller, he also includes a statement from Wojcik professing his sorrow and remorse.

“I cooperated with the investigation and accepted President Benson’s decision and sanctions. I’m sincerely remorseful and apologize to those I’ve hurt. I’ve already started making amends and working on correcting my actions. The College and I are grateful these concerns were brought to our attention, and every effort will be made to improve relations between myself and all members of the men’s basketball program," Wojcik said in the statement.

According to a statement released by the College, new president Glenn McConnell is consulting with the staff on the results of the investigation.

“The College of Charleston treats all personnel matters with the utmost seriousness,” says McConnell. “The College is committed to acting appropriately and responsibly to address any issues involving College personnel and students.”

It is unclear how much forewarning McConnell had of the brewing controversy in the basketball program. He only this week took over as the College's president. Before then, he was wrapping up business and his political career as the state's lieutenant governor in Columbia.

     

Video captures rant in CofC office

The words of nearly two dozen people fill a 50-age report on the words and actions of College of Charleston's embattled head basketball coach.

A referenced in the investigation report and obtained by ABC News 4 captures an angry, expletive-filled rant because a staffer ordered a pair of vans for the team to travel in, instead of a bus.

"Are you [expletive] kidding me?" a man identified in the report as Wojcik can be heard screaming. "Get your [expletive] ass back to southwest [expletive] Tulsa."

He questions, "Do you think they take [expletive] vans in Connecticut?"

The minute-long video accused the staffer of not following up on the vehicle order. Wojcik asks the staffer if he's just supposed to accept the vans.

Report details long list of expletive-laden rants by CofC coach

According to the report obtained Thursday afternoon by ABC News 4, the Cougars head coach levied harsh personal attacks and threats of physical violence against players and staffers.

"I'm going to rip your [expletive] throat out," Wojcik told guard Chad Cooke, according to a report from another player.

He reportedly called one player a "fag," and called another a liar and a thief.

Even the College's athletic director, Joe Hull, is reported as saying Wojcik is "extremely difficult to manage."

During an annual review with Wojcik, Hull described it as one of the most difficult reviews he's given in 30 years. Wojcik reportedly slammed the review down on a desk several time and walked out four times during the process only to return a few minutes later.

" Hull stated that Coach Wojcik made changes to the review with a red pen. Hull told Coach Wojcik he would take Wojcik’s suggestions under advisement. Hull stated that he did look at Wojcik’s comments and suggestions. However, he felt that Wojcik's review, as originally drafted, was fair and accurate. So, Hull decided not to revise the review," the report reads.

The investigation into Wojcik's alleged verbal abuse wrapped up late last month and the lengthy report detailing the alleged abuses was handed over to top College officials a week ago.

Since then, no athletics officials have publicly commented on the matter. Wojcik has not commented on the ongoing ordeal that has marred the week before summer recruiting begins.

But Wojcik's words are in the report. In his interview with the hired investigator, Wojcik supplied examples of friendly banter with athletes and their families as well as down time spent at his home.

"He has had several events at his house for players, donors, student leaders, and the like. The team has appeared to enjoy spending time at his house. They play ping pong and corn hole, go paddle boarding, and the like," Wojcik told the investigator.

According to the report, Wojcik told investigators that Canyon Barry's mother called him Mike Rice at an event. Rice is the former Rutgers coach fired last year after video surfaced of him verbally and physically attacking players.

Video evidence of Wojcik's alleged tirades has not surfaced.

A number of unnamed players were interviewed for the investigation. One of them said the verbal assaults left players fearful of making a mistake, which led to poor performance during games and practice, things that would reportedly send Wojcik into a tirade.

The players say they have never had a coach like Wojcik in terms of behavior towards players.

During practice, a player was sitting out tending to an injury, but Wojcik told the trainer to tend to "the guys that actually play," adding "I don't care if he [expletive] dies."

The players interviewed for the investigation provide a litany of negative and abusive comments, attributing them all to Wojcik.

“You were a top 100 player and supposed to be the next big thing. NBA? Ha. Kiss that out of the [expletive] window. You’re supposed to be some great player, but where are you going to play? You can’t even [expletive] do anything. You’re never going to play pro," Wojcik reportedly told Adjehi Baru.

“Tell your mom to shut the hell up. I care about you more than she does,” he reportedly told Theo Johnson.

“You’re a soft kid. Your parents did you a disservice in how they raised you,” he told Glen Pierre.

According to players, Wojcik even takes aim at the school's academics.

“Why are you getting bad grades. This school isn’t even hard. When you graduate, you might as well burn your degree because it’s not worth anything,” Wojcik told one of the players.

The investigation report concludes that the people interviewed did not have credibility issues that would make the allegations seem made up.

"It is likely that many of the players feel that Coach Wojcik’s comments and behavior towards them is generally insulting and degrading. It is likely that many of the players feel that Coach Wojcik’s comments and behavior towards them generally crosses a line or boundary that they feel is improper. It is likely that players acknowledge that some amount of yelling and cursing by Coach Wojcik is appropriate, but that they feel that Coach Wojcik’s frequent yelling, cursing, personal attacks, insulting of intelligence, and the like crosses a line or boundary with them," the report reads.

     

Former players describe life under Wojcik

A former College of Charleston player described Wojcik's behavior as "insane" in a phone interview Wednesday.

"He is insane, so ridiculous all the time, so manipulative and insecure about everything," the player said.

The player said the verbal tirades began almost immediately would often venture outside the mistakes made on the court to personal attacks.

"From the very first time I met him, he was already saying shit to me," said a former player. "Tirades, berating people, getting personal, saying stuff about people's families."

Another former player said Tuesday the verbal attacks were never racist or homophobic in tone. Instead, Wojcik would make fun of players' families, tell them they were bad basketball players and didn't deserve to be playing college basketball, according to a second former player.

The reported ordeal made for a strong opposition to Wojcik as the College began its investigation.

That same player said the team was open to yelling, but when the attacks became personal, the team was ready to cut ties with their coach.

As a result, the player said in his talks with other people involved in the program, no one seems to be against forcing Wojcik out.

A third former player said the investigation was long overdue. He described Wojcik as a tough coach, but said he went too far with the harsh criticisms of players that blew up into personal attacks.

But the former player said it only happened behind closed doors.

"He does a really good job of covering it up when you guys are around but everyone that has been around the program has been a target. He even bad mouths [the media] when you aren't around," he said.

The former player went on to say that Wojcik should not be a representative of the College. He also says counseling won't help the embattled coach.

"Anger management won't do this man any justice. In fact, it will probably make the situation worse," he said.

The Post and Courier is reporting that a tentative deal was offered to the current basketball team to get Wojcik some sort of counseling to tone down the verbal assaults.

No resolution has been reached yet, though. When asked about the matter, a spokesperson for the department said late Tuesday night that the department has no comment at the current time.

A source in the College of Charleston's athletics booster program says Wojcik's tirades even extended to members of the fundraising program at time. As a result, the booster member said he had withheld donations to the Cougar Club athletics program in the last two years because of Wojcik.

     

To his defense

But Wojcik is not without his defenders.

Late Wednesday night, the former strength coach at the College who has worked with Bobby Cremins, Mark Byington, and Wojcik said he felt terrible about the way no one was talking about the good things Wojcik was able to do.

“I was there for first 12 months of the tenure. What is getting lost in the whole story, how much he cares about the kids, how much he cares about players and the way he goes about showing he cares and things he says to them to get them straightened out," said Steve Bamel, who is now working in San Diego.

Bamel said Wojcik wanted the members of the team to be students first and pushed them to excel academically so they could graduate.

“A certain player had zero chance of getting a college degree without Doug Wojcik. No possible way he puts that white tuxedo on in the spring without Coach Wojcik," Bamel said. "Doug Wojcik provided structure -- the player did better.”

Bamel said the yelling and screaming that's become the focus of an investigation that could cost Wojcik his job was personal because Wojcik takes basketball personally. Bamel said Wojcik considered the locker room his home and the team his family.

“It is also personal when Doug has you over to his house to have dinner with his family, or calling you up and meeting with you — that’s personal as well. Everything is personal with him. He is personal with these kids. Wants to shape them into men he’s become. His track record in getting kids to graduate is unparalleled," Bamel said.

Bamel went on to say that in the time he worked with Wojcik at CofC, he never heard him say anything inappropriate or anything that could be considered an attack on a person.

Wojcik is two years into his five-year contract. A possible buy-out could cost the College more than $1 million.

Before taking over at the College, Wojcik was fired from Tulsa University's program after seven winning seasons that included two NIT berths and three postseason appearances.

Wojcik replaced the retiring Bobby Cremins. In his time at the College, he has racked up an overall record of 38-29.

Since the story broke late Tuesday night, it has been picked up by NBC Sports, CBS Sports, CNN, and ESPN.


  • Scott Eisberg

    Email: seisberg@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




Most Popular

Stories
Videos

Like Us On Facebook


Powered by WorldNow

ABCNews4 WCIV-TV

888 Allbritton Dr.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
843-881-4444 | Advertising Information

Public Information File

For assistance with accessing WCIV-TV's public information file, click here.

Advertising

Advertising Credit Application and Terms and Conditions PDF.

Powered by WorldNow
All content Copyright © 2014 WCIV and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.