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Reports: Wisconsin investigated, cleared Bo Ryan for improper use of resources after affair

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE, 2:58 p.m. CT: Following Deadspin's report, Ryan issued a statement to ESPN and the Wisconsin State Journal acknowledging the affair and denying that the woman had any connection to the university.

From the State Journal:

"I revealed this issue openly to the University, and encouraged them to review any activity to assure them that no University resources were misuse," the statement said. "My wife Kelly and I believed that the University's findings concluded this matter.

"To be clear, this matter was absolutely unrelated to my retirement many months later. In fact, I timed my retirement intentionally to assure that Greg Gard got his hard-earned opportunity to coach the University of Wisconsin basketball team," Ryan said.

He added: "I am a lucky man. Through Kelly's strength and understanding we have gotten through this difficult situation together. Throughout my career I have worked to help others. Now I am in the position of receiving help from Kelly who has taught me a lot about forgiveness. Our focus is on moving forward in a relationship that is stronger than ever."


A report from Deadspin on Saturday morning reveals that former Wisconsin Badgers basketball head coach Bo Ryan was involved in an affair prior to his decision to retire from coaching.

According to the report, the University of Wisconsin conducted an investigation into Ryan’s actions and "concluded in May that Ryan did not misuse university resources."

Ryan was the head coach at Wisconsin from the 2001-02 season until the midway portion of the 2015-16 season, compiling a record of 363-130 with 14 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, four Big Ten regular-season championships and three Big Ten tournament championships. Before coming to Madison, Ryan coached at Wisconsin-Platteville for 15 years (352-76) and Milwaukee for two (30-27).

The Deadspin report includes documents obtained through a public records request. Among the records received is an e-mail from the woman reportedly involved in the affair with Ryan.

"In the email, a woman wrote that she had recently broken off a nearly six-year-long affair with Ryan, calling him "manipulative, a liar, cheater and deceptive," and unworthy of representing the university.

Ryan informed the athletic department of the affair in 2014, according to the report. The university subsequently conducted an investigation into the affair and concluded that Ryan "did not utilize university resources during the course of the relationship in question."

Below is the full statement from UW-Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank to Deadspin:

In February, 2015, the University of Wisconsin-Madison received allegations related to the possible misuse of university resources and personal conduct of former Head Basketball Coach Bo Ryan. Prior to that Coach Ryan had disclosed to the university that he had had an improper personal relationship with a person unaffiliated with the university. The university’s Office of Legal Affairs and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics performed a thorough review after receiving this information. In this case, and in all others, the university takes conduct allegations seriously, reviews them thoroughly and takes action, when appropriate. These allegations did not involve any other member of the campus community beyond Bo Ryan. The university determined on May 13, 2015 that Ryan did not utilize university resources during the course of the relationship in question. The university concluded the issue was a private matter. Bo Ryan’s resignation on Dec. 15, 2015 was entirely his decision.