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Report: Siena's Jimmy Patsos under investigation for verbally abusing team manager

Former Loyola men's basketball coach Jimmy Patsos chews out his team during a timeout in 2013. Patsos now coaches at Siena.
Former Loyola men's basketball coach Jimmy Patsos chews out his team during a timeout in 2013. Patsos now coaches at Siena. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Former Loyola Maryland men's basketball coach Jimmy Patsos, whose future at Siena seemed cloudy during the team's worst season in his five-year tenure, is under investigation for verbally abusing a team manager who lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

According to a report in the Albany Times Union, which based its story on sources familiar with the matter, Patsos referred to the student-manager as "the next Unabomber" and "insane" and teased the student in front of team members.

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The student, a sophomore who has not been identified, filed a complaint with the school president in February, the newspaper reported. Siena was in the middle of an 8-24 season and there was speculation about whether Patsos might be fired despite having three years left on his contract.

New Loyola Maryland men's basketball coach Tavaras Hardy spent the past 12 years as an assistant coach at three schools. But he doesn't think his inexperience as a head coach will hurt him.

Patsos, who was not available for comment, reportedly knew of the student-manager's condition. The newspaper reported that members of the team have been interviewed by an an outside attorney retained by the university to conduct the investigation as well as by the school's Title IX coodinator.

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Siena spokeswoman Lisa Witkowski confirmed the investigation in a statement Wednesday afternoon, while avoiding comment on the details of the allegations.

"As you know, college athletic departments regularly perform end-of-season reviews on their sports programs. Information surfaced during Siena's review of the men's basketball program that requires deeper examination," Witkowski said.

"This process demands time and must be conducted in confidence. We have an obligation to protect the rights of all involved, and we have a responsibility to ensure our athletic programs are held to the highest standards."

Loyola Maryland has hired Georgia Tech assistant Tavaras Hardy as its men's basketball coach, replacing G.G. Smith.

Patsos, 51, came to Siena after nine seasons at Loyola, where he led the Greyhounds to the NCAA tournament in 2011-12. Patsos stayed another year in Baltimore before going to the upstate New York school.

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Patsos also served as an assistant to Gary Williams at Maryland from 1991 through 2004, and was on the staff when the Terps went to back-to-back Final Fours in 2001 and 2002, winning the NCAA title in 2002. He left after the 2003-04 season to coach Loyola, which was coming off a 1-27 season.

A Loyola athletic department spokesman declined to comment on whether there were any similar incidents during Patsos' nine years there, which included Patsos sitting in the stands during a 2008 game against Cornell after receiving a technical foul.

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