The two sides to the Milwaukee Panthers' saga: Amanda Braun

Sports Central

On Thursday, UWM Athletic Director Amanda Braun went in a new - and to many, controversial - direction in the decision to fire basketball coach Rob Jeter after 11 seasons, two NCAA tournament bids and a 20-13 season which ended with her choice to turn down a postseason bid.

620 WTMJ's Greg Matzek got both sides' takes about the decision in extended chats with both Jeter and Braun.

Below is what Braun said. (Click here for Jeter's take.)

On why this was the right time to let Rob Jeter go:
 
"I've been clear about the fact that our program is really well positioned to be successful in our leagee. We believe we can achieve that level of success competing in the top three and for championships every year. It seemed like the right time given recent history and long history of our program, that it was time to do that."
 
On when she made up her mind it was time:
 
"That's a process you go through. For me, it's been a couple years of watching, observing, learning a lot about the quality of our program, the support we provide, we just weren't getting to that level."
 
On whether that direction of the program was part of the reason she chose for UWM basketball to decline postseason play:
 
"Our expectations are the reason why we declined postseason play. 5th place, again, doesn't really merit, given the program we had, rewarding with postseason."
 
On whether there is a risk of alienating supporters, and on frustration expressed among players due to Jeter's community stature:
 
"I think always. It's rarely 100% on one side or the other. Our current student athletes, our recruits, folks around the program, on campus, a lot of support for what we're doing. Certainly there are people that, as was stated, really liked Coach Jeter, cared a lot about him, a good man, a great staff, good people, so it's to be understood that there's disappointment."
 
On whether there was friction between herself and Jeter:
 
"I think there's always some challenges between head coaches and administration. If there isn't, it means they're probably not advocating for their program. Sure. There are disagreements and we work through them. I wouldn't say there was any major drama or trauma going, on, but yeah, sure."
 
On the appearance that there was a surprised sense among the team regarding the turning down of a postseason bid:
 
"I've said this, and I've spoken to parents and others, I've never indicated that we would be taking postseason CBI, CIT. I never misled them, made them think that was going to happen. It was entirely based on that performance this year."
 
On the possibility of a lack of trust between Milwaukee Panthers players and the athletic director:
 
"They may feel that way. I certainly haven't done anything directly to make them feel that way. I support them a great deal. I think there are many of them that know that. Like I said, we can sit down and talk about it, and I'm happy to do that."
 
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