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Report: Wisconsin investigating allegation that staffer used racial epithet in front of transferring player

Jack Baer
Kobe King announced his intention to transfer from Wisconsin last week. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

An already messy transfer situation at Wisconsin might have just become a whole lot worse.

University of Wisconsin officials are investigating an allegation that a Wisconsin staffer used a racial epithet in the presence of Badgers guard Kobe King, according to Jeff Potrykus of the Wisconsin State Journal. King announced plans to transfer last week.

Wisconsin senior associate athletic director Justin Doherty reportedly confirmed an allegation had been made, providing the following statement to the Journal Sentinel:

“UW athletics administration was made aware of an allegation Sunday afternoon and has already taken measures to address it,” Doherty said, reading the statement. “Anytime we are made of an allegation of any kind, it is handled with the utmost seriousness.

"There is absolutely no place in UW athletics for the type of behavior being alleged.”

No specifics about the incident have been reported. It’s not yet known who is accused of using the epithet and who made the allegation itself.

The Journal Sentinel mentioned that such a claim could be used to grant immediate eligibility from the NCAA for whichever school he transfers to, citing Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields’ transfer from Georgia as an example. Fields was granted immediate eligibility after a player on the Georgia baseball team allegedly yelled a racial slur at him.

King announced his intention to transfer through Instagram last week, saying that he had realized the Wisconsin program was “not the right fit [for] me as a player.”

In an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jim Polzin, King also mentioned he had past doubts about playing under Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard and that he had expressed concerns to the coach about “the way we were talked to as a team.”

Gard responded to King’s decision to transfer in the middle of the season with disappointment. From the State Journal:

“Being a student-athlete in the Wisconsin men’s basketball program is a special privilege and opportunity and I’m disappointed that Kobe has chosen to leave, particularly at this point in time,” Gard said in a statement. “But I respect his right to do what he feels is in his best interest. I wish Kobe all the best.

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