ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Prominent leaders of the Albany community gathered in a show of support for UAlbany men’s basketball head coach Dwayne Killings Thursday afternoon at the Fort Orange Club, and called on the university to be more transparent in its investigation into the program.
Killings is at the center of an investigation involving an alleged physical altercation between he and a UAlbany player prior to a road game back in November.
This is a man that’s invested his life to come to here and he’s distraught and he’s scared,” said local businessman Marcus Pryor, who has been in contact with Coach Killings this week. “His life’s dream he’s afraid is about to be ripped from him.”
None of the seven community leaders claimed to know any details about what may have happened leading up to the university’s investigation. However, they all voiced concerns over the lack of transparency since it began.
“Let me see what the process is that’s being followed,” said Dr. Alice Green, executive director of the Center for Law and Justice, who is calling for justice and fairness in the investigation, along with transparency.
The University at Albany responded to the rally by releasing a statement that reads:
“The University at Albany’s top priority is supporting the health and well-being of our students and employees in an environment that is inclusive and equitable. While the University recognizes and understands this is a matter of public interest and that there may be incomplete information circulating publicly, it cannot disclose information that would violate student privacy and will not discuss personnel matters publicly.
The University is committed to a process that is full, fair, equitable and respectful of the rights of everyone involved – and to conducting this process in good faith.”
“I think we at least owe him a process that honors the commitment he made to us,” said Anthony Gaddy, co-founder of the Upstate New York Black Chamber of Commerce. “We need to make a return on the investment that he made in the city of Albany.”
The leaders praised Killings for making an immediate impact in the city since he was hired a year ago, bridging the gap and fostering a relationship between the university and the community.
“Coach saw what we were doing with feed Albany, and he said I want to get my guys down there. He came down. They helped package meals,” said Dominick Purnomo, co-owner of Yono’s and dp An American Brasserie.
Jamil Hood, founder of Hood’s House of Hoops added, “Coach Killings came in, met with the kids, interacted, brought his team, his team was on a schedule of mentoring.”
Pryor said he reached out to UAlbany president Havidán Rodríguez, requesting a meeting so that the leaders can express their feelings about Killings. Rodríguez has been out of town on university business.
The university has not released a timeline on when the investigation is expected to be compete.
Killings is still listed as the head coach on the team’s web page.