Cincinnati Warned, Fired Coach Over Practice Safety

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Documents obtained Monday by The Enquirer of Cincinnati show that the University of Cincinnati reprimanded head men's basketball coach John Brennen months before firing him April 9, accusing Brennen of using methods of intimidation against players, jeopardizing or disregarding their wellbeing and making payment of special benefits for an unnamed player.

"While the University's investigation into your conduct is ongoing and therefore other grounds for termination may become evident, it is clear at this point, among other things, you have failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the Men's Basketball Program with respect to rules, regulations and policies and have further jeopardized and/or disregarded the wellbeing, health and safety of student-athletes, despite written reprimand," Cunningham wrote in his termination letter to Brannen, a document obtained among others by The Enquirer under Ohio's Open Records Act.

"Moreover, you have made, attempted, arranged or otherwise made payment for special benefits for a student-athlete other than through approved channels; intimidated and/or attempted to intimidate students from raising proper compliance concerns; as you have previously been notified, running one or more practices without proper precautions for player health and safety and repeatedly violated time management plan policies; and not been forthcoming with the University regarding your actions."

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