NCAA B

Abusive Charleston coach fired but players say they forgive him

Doug Wojcik, pictured when he still coached for the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, was fired Tuesday. (©GettyImages)
Doug Wojcik, pictured when he still coached for the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, was fired Tuesday. (©GettyImages).

For the second straight time, the College of Charleston men's basketball squad will face off against the defending national champions.

This time, however, they'll be doing it without their current head coach.

The Cougars will begin their season at the Puerto Rico Tip-off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, against Connecticut on Nov. 20.

Last year, they opened up against Louisville, the 2012 champions.

There will be a new face on the sidelines though, after Doug Wojcik was fired by school President Glenn McConnell on Tuesday.

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A History of Abuse

Wocjik was under intense scrutiny after a two-year internal report conducted by the school was published by the Charleston Post and Courier.

As we previously reported, the investigation asserted that Wocjik was "likely" to have engaged in a number of verbally-abuse actions against his players.

The 50-year-old coach allegedly berated them on multiple occasions, calling them liars at times and using homophobic language. 

Twelve players were included in the report, with 10 requesting anonymity, and nine school employees also contributed to it.

At one point, the report describes Wojcik as having a "Jekyll and Hyde," personality, which led to other employees being fearful of suggesting changes in philosophy or practice.

Wojcik's background as a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy also became a focus, after he repeatedly told players that their behavior would not be tolerated under the Navy's supposedly stricter environment.

College of Charleston Athletic Director Joe Hull, who will take over as the school prepares a replacement, ultimately said that the coach was "extremely difficult to manage."

Pres. McConnell, who said he could not comment about the specifics of the personnel issue, nonetheless said in his statement that he was motivated to fire Wocjik for "just cause."

"As president, my highest priorities include the safeguarding of our College community," McConnell said.

Legal action expected

The Associated Press has previously reported that Wojcik was seeking a legal remedy to his unemployment.

Wojcik's attorney, Scott Tempsett, listed a litany of reasons why the coach will sue, in a previous statement to the Associated Press.

"The College did not make a good fath attempt to reach an agreement with Coach Wojcik," Tempsett said. "That means a reasonable settlement of the amount owed under Coach Wojcik's contract in return for a full release of litigation claims."

Don't expect Wojcik to be successful if he does sue, however.

He would most likely have to prove that the termination of his contract was not due to just cause, as McConnell has asserted. 

However, Wojcik's own players - many of which spoke against him in the report - have released a statement saying that they support his firing.

The statement was released to the media by the school and was said to have been signed by every player on the roster.

"We completely and wholeheartedly concur with the findings of the investigation and the actions that President McConnell has taken in this matter," the statement read. "We forgive Coach Wojcik and hope that he and his family can move forward in a positive manner from here."

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