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Doug Wojcik out at Charleston

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- College of Charleston president Glenn McConnell has fired men's basketball coach Doug Wojcik.

The move Tuesday comes more than a month after the school said it was investigating Wojcik, who players, assistant coaches and staffers in the athletic department said verbally abused them.

McConnell announced the decision in a letter to the "campus community" saying, "I am writing today to let you know I have made the decision to terminate head men's basketball coach Doug Wojcik's employment at the College of Charleston for just cause, pursuant to the terms of his contract, effective immediately.

"I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding while the college works to find the best path forward for the men's basketball program. Effective immediately, athletic director Joe Hull is responsible for the men's basketball program."

McConnell said the school would have no further comment about Wojcik's dismissal.

By firing Wojcik with cause, the school is trying to avoid paying the $1.2 million still owed him for the final three seasons of his five-year contract. Wojcik's attorney, Scott Tompsett, said in a statement that the College of Charleston did not make a good-faith attempt to reach a settlement in the matter and became desperate to invent a reason to fire the coach.

"Today's action by the College of Charleston will not bring closure to the college, the basketball program, or the student-athletes and their families," Tompsett said.

A 50-page report contained summaries of interviews with Wojcik, Hull and 25 others -- including 10 anonymous players and five anonymous employees -- who are current or former players and assistant coaches and college staffers.

Wojcik said in the report he was shocked by the allegations and has not had players complain about his treatment.

Among the report's conclusions were that:

• It was likely Wojcik made comments to players that constituted name calling, such as "dumb," "idiot," "stupid" and "variations of such words that included profanity."

• It was likely Wojcik used a homophobic slur to brand one player "on at least one occasion and likely on multiple occasions."

• It was likely Wojcik made negative comments about players' parents and upbringing.

• It was likely Wojcik made comments that were "threatening or challenging in nature."

• It was likely many players believe Wojcik's behavior toward them is "generally insulting and degrading."

The report stated the investigator found players and former players interviewed "had no apparent credibility issues."

Wojcik, 50, denied using homophobic slurs or threatening players when he was interviewed for the investigation.

Hull said in the report he had attended some of Wojcik's practice sessions and had not seen nor heard anything he thought crossed the line.

"Coach Wojcik reiterates what he said over a month ago," Tompsett said on Wojcik's behalf. "He's sincerely remorseful and apologizes publicly to those he hurt emotionally or offended. He is a better person because of this experience and he'll be a better coach."

While directly addressing allegations, McConnell wrote that "as president, my highest priorities include the safeguarding of our college community, the preservation and enhancement of the college's excellent reputation, and the creation of a campus environment in which all students, faculty, staff, volunteers, friends and guests feel welcome, safe and respected."

Wojcik arrived at Charleston from Tulsa two years ago. He led the Cougars to the Southern Conference tournament final in his first year, but the team fell to 14-18 this past season in College of Charleston's first in the Colonial Athletic Conference.

"I'm confident that our basketball program, and all our athletics programs, will continue to exemplify the high standards and outstanding reputation of the college, and I, along with other members of this administration, am dedicated to this end," McConnell said. 

A source told ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman that former College of Charleston standout and current New Orleans Pelicans scout Anthony Johnson is one of the top candidates to replace Wojcik.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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