CofC basketball coach, attorney challenge physical abuse charges
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - There was no physical abuse against a former College of Charleston basketball player. That's the word from the embattled head coach on Tuesday.
According to a statement from Doug Wojcik's attorney Scott Tompsett, the allegations of physical abuse made by Trevonte Dixon are false. To prove it, Tompsett and Wojcik are releasing video of the practice at Elon University in which Dixon accused Wojcik of throwing basketballs at his head.
Tompsett said there is no video of the alleged Toronto incident.
"The video of the Elon game shows that Coach Wojcik substituted Dixon out of the game after the young man committed a turnover and then almost immediately committed a defensive foul away from the ball. Dixon returned to the bench, then Coach Wojcik kneeled in front of Dixon coaching him on his mistake. The entire encounter lasted a few seconds, and there's nothing that comes even close to physical abuse," Tompsett said.
According to Dixon's affidavit, he committed a turnover and was taken out of the game and squatted down in front of him once Dixon sat on the bench.
"He then placed his hands on my face, one hand on each of my cheeks, and squeezed by face shaking my face from left to right, saying 'TD, you don't fucking get it,'" Dixon alleges in the affidavit..
Dixon said he considered it to be demeaning and physically abusive.
Tompsett also explains the practice drill in which Wojcik plays an offensive player trying to get off a pass as a rotation of defensive players cycle through in an attempt to block his pass.
According to Dixon's affidavit, Wojcik threw balls at players "out of anger" and hit Dixon in the legs with balls. Dixon also says he saw Wojcik almost hit a fellow teammate in the head with a ball.
The video released Tuesday, however, does not show any evidence of these acts. It is not possible to hear what Wojcik says to Dixon during the Elon game.
Tompsett says there is no merit to Dixon's accusations. Further, he says they believe the College never handed over the video to investigators during the second inquisition into Wojcik's coaching style.
"It's called coaching, and it's what the College of Charleston hired Coach Wojcik to do," Tompsett said.
Rose Mary Parham, Dixon's attorney, says the video release leaves out the incidents in question and she calls for a "full and accurate picture." Parham says she wants Wojcik to release video from all of the practices and the preseason game in Toronto.
Parham said Tuesday afternoon she was working on requesting more video from the College.
The College declined to comment on the video release, calling it a personnel matter. When asked about the pending suspension of Wojcik, the College also declined to comment.
Tompsett said Wojcik would comply with the suspension he agreed to with former president George Benson.
The head coach is supposed to sit out the month of August under an agreement struck with the College's former president after the first investigation into Wojcik's actions as coach.
The College has remained silent on the matter, releasing only a few statements since news of the investigation broke nearly a month ago.
In that time, the College's new president, Glenn McConnell, said Wojcik remained head coach as far as he knew.
The bulk of the College's interaction comes in the form of a 50-page report on the actions and words of Wojcik during practice and games.
According to the report obtained Thursday afternoon by ABC News 4, the Cougars head coach levied harsh personal attacks and threats of physical violence against players and staffers.
"I'm going to rip your [expletive] throat out," Wojcik told guard Chad Cooke, according to a report from another player.
Even the College's athletic director, Joe Hull, is reported as saying Wojcik is "extremely difficult to manage."
During an annual review with Wojcik, Hull described it as one of the most difficult reviews he's given in 30 years. Wojcik reportedly slammed the review down on a desk several time and walked out four times during the process only to return a few minutes later.
A number of unnamed players were interviewed for the investigation. One of them said the verbal assaults left players fearful of making a mistake, which led to poor performance during games and practice, things that would reportedly send Wojcik into a tirade.
Wojcik is two years into his five-year contract. A possible buy-out could cost the College more than $1 million.
Before taking over at the College, Wojcik was fired from Tulsa University's program after seven winning seasons that included two NIT berths and three postseason appearances.
Wojcik replaced the retiring Bobby Cremins. In his time at the College, he has racked up an overall record of 38-29.