More than 500 Green Bay Phoenix and Green Bay Packers supporters attended the 13th annual Phoenix-Packers Steak Fry at Lambeau Field on Tuesday evening. The event is a fundraiser for UW-Green Bay student-athlete scholarships. University Chancellor Tom Harden opened the program with brief remarks. He expressed his support for the program and referenced success both on and off the court. He also addressed, briefly, recent public and media attention involving complaints made by the families of two former players. Harden indicated community reaction to UW-Green Bay’s actions (appointment of an outside person to investigate the complaints) has been mostly positive, with many expressing appreciation (for the value of an independent, impartial third-party review). He also spoke candidly about receiving a few critical comments including complaints that he and the University have not come out publically in support of the coach. The chancellor repeated the need to respect the process and the rights of the students and employee involved. Also commenting on the issue, albeit only indirectly, was Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy, who was previously a D-I athletics director himself at Colgate and Northwestern. “I was an AD for 16 years,” he said, expressing appreciation for the challenges of the position. With social media, parents getting more involved, and other factors, there are new challenges, he said. Murphy mentioned his respect for the University and the tradition of Phoenix Athletics, and also offered the fans in attendance updates on Packers news including progress on the expansion of Lambeau Field seating. He closed by saying, “The Packers are very proud to support a great Athletics program.”
Wardle: Team made strides in 2012-13
UW-Green Bay Men’s Basketball Coach Brian Wardle gave his customary season-end recap at the annual Phoenix-Packers Steak Fry. It was an upbeat recap. Despite a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer to Valparaiso in the Horizon League semifinals, Wardle told fans the team bought into his “compete, defend and rebound” motto and results were positive. He cited team highlights including 18 wins, a tie for third in the Horizon League, a CIT post-season bid, two conference tourney wins for the first time since 1998, ranking No. 1 in the Horizon League in the key categories of rebounding and FG defense, and a number of satisfying wins including the home victory over Big East power Marquette. “Are we where we want to be, yet? No, but we’re getting there,” Wardle said. He also shared an observation on spring workouts that team members “are working hard, putting in the time … and I can’t give our players enough credit for the time and effort that they put in.” He also said seven-foot center Alec Brown will return for his senior season.
Basketball blog includes transcript of Chancellor’s remarks
As always, the annual Phoenix-Packers Steak Fry fundraiser drew a crowd of sports reporters even beyond WBAY-TV personalities Chris Roth and Bill Jartz, who handled the emcee and auctioneer duties, respectively. Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter Rob Demovsky taped some of the remarks and offers the following unofficial transcript of Chancellor Tom Harden’s candid, unscripted remarks from the podium regarding the ongoing investigation. Read more.