Missing players unexplained; UWO: Student records confidential

Neal Hogden, Sports Writer

Two starters from last year’s UW Oshkosh NCAA Division III men’s basketball national title team did not finish the 2019-20 season with the team, and attempts to find out why have been unsuccessful.

The Advance-Titan contacted Athletic Director Darryl Sims, Head Coach Matt Lewis, Interim Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Peggy Breister, Police Lt. Trent Martin and an assistant at the Winnebago County District Attorney’s office, and all said they could not comment on an active investigation.

Breister also said the investigation had been handed over to the Winnebago County District Attorney.

“UW Oshkosh takes all reports of student conduct seriously,” Breister said. “Independent of the police investigation, the Dean of Students Office handles student conduct investigations. Student conduct investigations are considered part of student confidential records and are not released to the public.”

Nearly three weeks ago, the Advance-Titan also filed multiple record requests through the university relating to the matter; the paper has yet to receive a response.

The players were displayed on the UWO athletics online roster to begin the year and have since been removed.

As of two weeks ago, neither of the players were registered in the university directory.

The team has also recently taken a new roster photo without the two to put on its website.

An anonymous source said it was difficult to keep pushing throughout the adversity-filled season.

“It was tough at first,” he said. “You know, those were two starters for us. It’s next-man-up mentality. We had two big freshmen and a transfer-in, so there’s three guys who are first-year guys who have really come into their own. We’ve always been a really close team off the court, so I think that really helped us mesh on the court.”

The Titans finished their season on Saturday in the second round of the D-III men’s basketball tournament with a 20-9 record.

This story has been updated to delete a redaction statement since criminal investigations are seldom subject to redaction unless they involve minors or other protected information.