Wojcik's attorney: Video proves abuse allegations false - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Wojcik's attorney: Video proves abuse allegations false

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Doug Wojcik's school imposed suspension for verbally abusing his players officially began on Friday, just 3 days after the attorney for the College of Charleston Head Basketball Coach says video shows abuse allegations are untrue and criticized the college for not correcting the public record with regard to the allegations.

CofC Athletic Director Joe Hull said in an email on Friday that the Cougars assistant coaches, Ryan Freeburg, Joe Wallace and Antonio Reynolds Dean, would be reporting to him for the time being. Hull also said that Reynolds Dean, who was hired to the staff in early June before news of the investigation into Wojcik became public, would be running any practices that occur over the month of August. 

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, attorney Scott Tompsett says the college "knows, or certainly should know, that Mr. Dixon's allegations are false. Yet the College has done nothing to correct the public record," referring to player Trevonte Dixon, who accused Wojcik of physically abusing him at a preseason game in 2012.

In an affidavit, Dixon said he took a shot during the game and missed the basket, after which the coach called a time out and starting screaming at him and yelling profanities.

"He grabbed my collar with both hands and tightened my jersey around my neck. He continued to hold me by the top of my jersey, and then he put his fist up towards my face and pushed his knuckles into my Adam's apple. He continued to yell profanities at me the whole time; I considered this to be a physical threat as well as actual physical abuse," Dixon said in the affidavit.

Dixon also accused Wojcik of taking him out of the Elon game in 2013 after Dixon turned the ball over to the opposing team.

"Coach took me out of the game, sat me down on the bench, stood in front of me then squatted down in front of me," the affidavit states. "He then placed his hands on my face, one hand on each of my cheeks, and squeezed my face shaking my face left to right, saying, 'TD, you don't [expletive] get it.' He stood up, pat me lightly on the head and walked away. I considered this to be a very demeaning act as well as actual physical abuse," Dixon said.

Tompsett says there is no video of the incident in 2012, but the 2013 allegation does not hold up when a video of that game is examined.

"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," the statement reads. "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. In fact, the same type of conduct can be seen dozens of times a night on ESPN during the college basketball season. It’s called coaching, and it’s what the College of Charleston hired Coach Wojcik to do."

Tompsett says the video also paints a different picture of allegations that Wojcik maliciously threw balls at players in practice when players performed a drill incorrectly. The drill, called "Screen Up, Screen Down," teaches players to guard an offensive player who is attempting to get open for a pass via up screens and down screens, Tompsett explains.

In his affidavit, Dixon said that on numerous occasions Wojcik threw basketballs "out of anger" at him and other players when they did something wrong.

"The balls he threw at me hit my legs," Dixon said in the affidavit. "On one occasion, I watched him throw a ball and barely missed hitting a teammate" in the head.

"As anyone can see from the video, Coach Wojcik stands at the free-throw line area with the ball while players cycle offensively while being guarded by defensive players. Coach Wojcik attempts to pass the ball in the vicinity of an offensive player, while the defensive player tries to stay with the offensive player while at the same time watching for a pass to deflect or intercept. This is how the game of basketball is played," Tompsett said.

"The video we’ve provided shows players occasionally getting hit with the ball in the back, legs or buttocks because they were not looking for the pass. And that’s what happens in real game situations. The drill simulates a game situation," Tompsett said.

"But it’s obvious that contrary to Dixon’s allegation, Coach Wojcik did not maliciously throw balls at players because they performed the drill incorrectly; rather, he was teaching and instructing. In fact, at one point in the video Coach Wojcik gives a high-five to Dixon as positive encouragement," Tompsett said.

Wojcik is "ready and willing" to fulfill the three years remaining on his contact at CofC, Tompsett said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Dixon's attorney, Rosemary Parham, called the release a case of "misinformation."

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