CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball program is under review following recent allegations related to the team, the school announced Friday.
According to a source, the allegations are related to the coaching staff.
A statement from UC did not outline what the allegations are or when they might have happened.
UC’s statement said the university is working with independent factfinders to review “allegations related to its men’s basketball program.”
“The University has always put the welfare of its student-athletes first,” said Director of Athletics John Cunningham. “We feel this is an essential step to ensure that all of our athletic programs meet the highest standards.”
Under second-year head coach John Brannen, the Bearcats went 12-11, making it all the way to the American Athletic Conference tournament championship game.
After the Bearcats failed to make it to the NCAA Tournament, six players announced they were leaving the team and entering the transfer portal.
When the news of players’ departures was coming out last week, a former player talked anonymously to FOX19 NOW to defend Brannen as a coach.
“Coach Brannen is going to push you,” the player said. “He’s going to put you in uncomfortable situations in practice in terms of basketball, not socially. That’s how you get better. He’s going to demand it out of you.
“It’s not easy. I tell people that all the time. Playing for Coach Brannen is not easy. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. He pushed me to limits that I didn’t know I had. That made me the player I was. I guess I embraced that more than others do.
“Just like every offensive play style isn’t for certain people, coaching styles aren’t always for certain people.”
A parent of a UC player talked to FOX19 NOW on Friday about the allegations.
“He doesn’t let the parents be involved in the program at all. With this COVID stuff, it went crazy. Other parents I’ve talked to from this year and years before, that turned them off big time. That was a problem he had at NKU, too.
“These kids didn’t leave for nothing. We’re looking at it like, ‘these are new age kids and they don’t want to wait their turn.’ That’s not how it is. It’s 50-50. People perceive it that John is doing nothing wrong. That’s not reality. These kids came here for a reason. They also left for a reason.”
Brannen was named the head coach at UC in 2019 after he took Northern Kentucky University to the NCAA tournament in two of his final three seasons with the Norse.
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