BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) - Bowling Green State University Head Men's Basketball Coach Chris Jans has been fired.
Jans had been with the team just over a year when he was fired on Thursday. The school did not immediately provide details about the reason behind the firing, saying only that it had to do with Jans' "recent public conduct." They later released the letter of termination.
The letter describes Jans' inappropriate conduct toward several women at a bar on March 21. Jans was seen touching one woman's head and moving it toward his body, and touching the buttocks of another woman. Jans later admitted he did not know if this woman was a student or employee at BGSU. When confronted by another woman, a student at another university visiting her family, Jans called her an inappropriate name.
There was then a "physical interaction" between two groups: Jans and some others with BGSU basketball, and the young woman's family.
The letter states Jans admitted to the behavior and expressed his remorse.
"Your conduct has caused, and will cause, embarrassment to the University, and it has detracted, and will otherwise detract from the University's reputation, the reputation of the University's athletic program, and the reputation of the Men's Basketball program," the letter states.
The incident was first brought to the university's attention with an email from the young woman's father, a BGSU alumnus. He also provided video taken of Jans' behavior after they noticed it happening. Several emails were then exchanged between the alumnus and university staff. Here is another from the alumnus. A university representative responded with this email, explaining Jans' desire to apologize to the family. Finally, the alumnus sent this email in reply. BGSU has released these emails as well as the video.
The bar where the incident took place says their surveillance video is deleted after five days, so it was not available.
Many students at BGSU say they were shocked to hear the news.
"As far as I knew, the basketball team was doing pretty well this year," said BGSU senior Kody Bartelt. "I thought everything was fine. It's kind of a big shock to us."
Players also said they had no idea this was coming. They were told at an 11 a.m. meeting about the termination, and that Assistant Coach Mark Downey would handle the day-to-day operations until a replacement is hired.
Jans did not want to comment on the situation. A source told WTOL that Jans was shocked over the dismissal.
Bowling Green State University released the following statement on Jans' firing:
Bowling Green State University has terminated the employment of Men's Head Basketball Coach Chris Jans. Jans was terminated following an investigation into his recent public conduct. The University concluded that Jans' public conduct failed to meet his obligations as a head coach and the expectations that BGSU Athletics has for its coaches.
The University will have no further comment on this personal matter.
BGSU will immediately begin a national search for the 17th head coach in program history. Assistant Coach Mark Downey will take over the day-to-day operations and lead the program during the search process.
Some names mentioned during the university's talk of finding a new head basketball coach include Ohio State Assistant Coach Jeff Boals and former Falcon Jay Larranaga, who is currently an assistant coach in the NBA with the Celtics.