A fascinating inside report broke out of Madison, Wisconsin earlier today.
Recorded conversations from a private meeting between seven Wisconsin seniors and head basketball coach Greg Gard have been leaked. According to reports from Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal, the leaked conversations featured a list of grievances from each of the seven seniors involving the Ward’s coaching approach.
The 37-minute audio file, which was sent to the Wisconsin State Journal by way of an anonymous email account on Monday night, featured most of the Feb. 19 meeting that took place in the Kohl Center media room.
The recording could reportedly be summed up by one key grievance: Gard didn’t care about his players.
That complaint was aptly summed up by four-year Badgers starter Nate Reuvers.
“I just feel like, coach, we don’t have a relationship,” Reuvers said. “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.”
Amid the release of these recordings, Gard responded with his explanation of how things transpired.
“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. …difficult conversations have to be had. Sometimes people just need to get things off their chest,” Gard said in an official statement released by the program. “At the end of the day, I believe we are all better for having gone through challenging moments.”
Statement from head coach Greg Gard pic.twitter.com/nz3QAPeqtU
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) June 22, 2021
Gard also expressed his frustrations with the public nature of their once-private meeting.
“Needless to say, I am incredibly disappointed to find out that a private meeting between seniors from our 2020-21 team and our coaching staff was secretly recorded, edited and made public,” he said. “It shows a complete lack of care for our program culture and for the confidentiality that is owed to our student-athletes who wanted an opportunity to share their thoughts behind closed doors.”
Gard is now entering his seventh season as head coach of the Wisconsin program.
After beginning this past year with a preseason No. 7 ranking, the Badgers put together a disappointing 18-13 season — ending with a second-round loss to Baylor in the NCAA Tournament.
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