Earl Grant Hired as College of Charleston Coach After Firing Doug Wojcik

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Earl Grant Hired as College of Charleston Coach After Firing Doug Wojcik
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 2

Earl Grant will be the next men's basketball coach at College of Charleston confirms the schools Twitter account:

 

Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 27

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com reported on the latest in the College of Charleston's search for a new head coach:

After a search that spanned three weeks and featured a committee interviewing at least six candidates, Charleston is close to hiring former Charleston player Anthony Johnson as the school's next men's basketball coach, sources told CBSSports.com on Wednesday.

A formal announcement could come before the holiday weekend.

The only obstacle would be a late snag in negotiations, sources told CBSSports.com.

 

Updates from Monday, Aug. 18

Andy Katz and Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported on the College of Charleston's search for a new head coach:

The College of Charleston is expected to have a coach to replace the fired Doug Wojcik by the end of the week after concluding six interviews by Tuesday, multiple sources told ESPN.

Sources have said throughout the past few weeks that former Charleston player Anthony Johnson remains a leader for the position. Other candidates include former Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz, now an assistant to Mark Gottfried at NC State; UConn assistant and former George Washington head coach Karl Hobbs; Virginia assistant Ritchie McKay, a former head coach at Liberty, New Mexico, Portland State and Colorado State; Clemson assistant Earl Grant; and Wofford head coach Mike Young.

Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 6

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com reported on the College of Charleston's process of finding its next head coach:

While Charleston prepares for a certain legal battle with Doug Wojcik and, at the same time, tries to find his replacement, one thing that's gone unreported but is worth noting is how first-year president Glenn McConnell is facing internal and external pressure to hire a minority as his next men's basketball coach, multiple sources told CBSSports.com.

 

"He has no choice," is the way one source described the situation.

Earlier, Pete Iacobelli of the Associated Press has the latest on Wojcik:

College of Charleston basketball players say they agreed with the dismissal of men's coach Doug Wojcik after allegations of verbal abuse and they "forgive" him.

[...]

The players' statement said while the past few weeks were difficult, they feel they are closer as a team. The players said they would not comment individually about Wojcik.

"We completely and wholeheartedly concur with the findings of the investigation and the actions that President McConnell has taken in this manner," the players' statement said.

 

Original Text

College of Charleston head basketball coach Doug Wojcik was officially relieved of his duties on Tuesday after twice being accused of incidents of player abuse in the last month.

Gene Sapakoff of the Charleston Post and Courier received word from the university, which plans on using "just cause" as the basis for Wojcik's removal:

Legally speaking, "just cause" is a term thrown out when employers wish to get out of a binding contract without paying severance. Wojcik will be able to challenge College of Charleston's right to remove him in court. Sapakoff notes that there is currently $1.2 million remaining on Wojcik's contract, which he signed after coming over from Tulsa in 2012.

Sapakoff and colleague Andrew Miller first broke the story of Wojcik's alleged mental abuse and threats of physical violence of players last month. In a 50-page report commissioned by the university, the 50-year-old coach is accused of berating his players with a series of insults and alleged homophobic language.

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Twelve different players cooperated with the initial investigation, though 10 were anonymously listed in the report. College of Charleston initially suspended Wojcik for the month of August. He also released a remorseful statement through the school:

I cooperated with the investigation and accepted President (George) 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 members of the men's basketball program.

While it was not initially thought that Wojcik physically abused players—the first report categorized them as threats—Miller reported on July 22 that a second investigation began when additional evidence was uncovered. Wojcik allegedly was involved in a physical confrontation with Cougar guard Trevonte Dixon during the 2012-13 season, with video footage showing Wojcik physically attacking the player.

No footage has been made publicly available at this time. However, it is likely that university brass reviewed the tape, confirmed the allegations and moved forward with its plan to oust Wojcik for good. Dan Wolken of USA Today shared the following:

In two years at College of Charleston, Wojcik went 38-29. The Cougars went 14-18 last season, including a 6-10 mark in their inaugural campaign as a member of the Colonial Athletic Conference. He was previously fired at Tulsa after compiling a 140–92 record in seven seasons. Wojcik did not lead Tulsa or College of Charleston to the NCAA tournament.

Based on how these types of situations go, this is far from the last time we'll be hearing about this case. Wojcik's attorney spoke after his client's dismissal on Tuesday and indicated that College of Charleston did not negotiate a potential buyout in good faith, per ESPN's Andy Katz:

That will likely be the basis of how Wojcik chooses to fight his "just cause" removal. Barring a settlement, the remainder of the case will play out in a courtroom, where both sides will plead their case. In a trial setting, more evidence against Wojcik will be made public, as will the timeline of when College of Charleston uncovered his alleged tactics.

Athletics Director Joe Hull will be taking over the basketball program, per Katz. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the investigation plays out as more evidence becomes public.

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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