ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — University at Albany men’s basketball coach Dwayne Killings made ‘inappropriate physical contact’ with a player in November. It was bad enough to warrant a university-imposed five-game suspension and $25-thousand fine following an investigation that ‘substantiated’ the complaint. Yet, after nearly 34 minutes of questioning Thursday morning in his first public address since the situation unfolded, Killings declined to offer more details regarding the incident or subsequent investigation.
“All the details of it to this point, what’s been put out there is all within the statement of the university and on my behalf in terms of the apology,” said Killings, “and that’s all I can really say.”
The University’s investigation launched in late February found Killings’ transgression occurred during a pregame hype circle Nov. 24 at Eastern Illinois. The statement issued April 2 stated the ‘investigation further concluded that this was an isolated incident.’
“The [investigative] process went as it went, and I believe and I trust in that,” said Killings.
The first-year head coach didn’t apologize during the press conference, but multiple times referenced his April 2 letter, in which he wrote:
“I would like to apologize to you, the student-athlete, his family, the UAlbany community, the capital region community, our student-athletes, my staff, and all those who I humbly represent. I realize that the physical contact I had with the student-athlete during the pre-game hype circle was inappropriate, and not communicating it to the UAlbany administration was a mistake. Neither action will be repeated, and the pursuit of success within my program is of paramount importance.”
Despite being pressed for details about both the incident and subsequent investigation — including why he was able to continue coaching two games while under investigation, or what his ‘alternative assignment’ was — Killings continued to refer reporters back to the previous statements. However, he did share gratitude for the people who have remained in his corner throughout the process.
“It’s warmed my heart to be honest with you and it’s also really helped my wife and my kids in terms of support we’ve gotten from people that are staying committed to what we’re trying to do,” said Killings
Days before UAlbany concluded its investigation, community leaders held a rally in support of Killings.
As for the team, three players entered the transfer portal, but that’s typical of any college program these days. None of UAlbany’s 2022-23 recruits have de-committed. In fact, Killings said he hasn’t fielded any questions during his recruiting efforts regarding the incident or investigation.
“My reputation means a lot to me,” said Killings. “It really really does. I’ve worked really really hard in this business. I’ve worked really hard to treat people the right way.”
Though Killings’ reputation has likely taken a hit, he’s stayed off social media and says he plans to make the most of his opportunity to continue leading the Great Danes.
“I put my heart and soul into this program. I’ve given everything that I can to the community and I’ll give more. I’ll continue to do what I do, and we’ll move forward. Like I said, it’s [up and down] now working on getting back up.”
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