(WFRV) – Wisconsin Badgers head coach Greg Gard issued a statement through the university on Tuesday. Earlier in the day a secret recording sent to the Wisconsin State Journal revealed a team meeting where players were critical of the coach.
In the statement Gard said “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 lengthy track record of doing both. But the path to a championship or to graduation is not always 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.”
The report by the Wisconsin State Journal details a team meeting with Gard, his assistants, and the teams seven seniors where the players are openly critical of Gard for how much he cares about them. Gard reportedly listened to all of the criticism before apologizing at the end of the meeting, and a player cited in the report said it did help things down the stretch of the season.
“I, along with my assistant coaches, have our players’ backs. I am fully committed to their development as basketball players, students and young men,” Gard said in the statement.
The Badgers head coach also showed his disappointment for a secret recording of that meeting being made public.
“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. It shows a complete lack of care for our program culture and for the confidentiality that is owed t our student athletes who wanted an opportunity to share their thoughts behind closed doors,” said Gard in the statement.