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Report: Ryan affair led to UW inquiry

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Posted at 12:14 PM, Mar 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-05 21:06:01-05

A report says that the University of Wisconsin has investigated an extramarital relationship a woman says she had with former Wisconsin Badgers head basketball coach Bo Ryan, and claims that he improperly expensed university resources for her benefit.

Deadspin published a letter which they say the woman had given the university in February 2015, as well as a letter Deadspin got from the school regarding the claims of expenses university resources towards her including travel.

Rumors of infidelity were said to be a potential reason for Ryan's resignation from his job in December 2015. A statement from UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank to Deadspin said that it was entirely his decision to leave, but that he had disclosed "an improper personal relationship with a person unaffiliated with the university."

The online publication published parts of letters where the woman claimed her relationship with Ryan had started in 2009. It allegedly involved taking her on various basketball recruiting trips. She also accused him of personal mistreatment, which Deadspin said were unconfirmed accusations.

According to Deadspin, Ryan told the school of their relationship in December 2014, before the letter the woman sent to the university.

The school spoke with Ryan and with her numerous times, according to Deadspin. Their investigation also reportedly involved numerous e-mails and other forms of digital communication, but it found no evidence of wrongdoing in terms of university policy.

Deadspin reports that seven minutes after the school receive the letter of accusation from the woman, Ryan forwarded it to his wife.

The following is a statement UW sent WTMJ Saturday afternoon. It's the same statement they sent Deadspin.

Statement of Chancellor Rebecca Blank March 4, 2016
 
“In February, 2015, the University of Wisconsin-Madison received allegations related to the possible misuse of university resources and personal conduct of former Head Basketball Coach Bo Ryan. Prior to that Coach Ryan had disclosed to the university that he had had an improper personal relationship with a person unaffiliated with the university.”
 
“The university’s Office of Legal Affairs and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics performed a thorough review after receiving this information. In this case, and in all others, the university takes conduct allegations seriously, reviews them thoroughly and takes action, when appropriate. These allegations did not involve any other member of the campus community beyond Bo Ryan.”
 
“The university determined on May 13, 2015 that Ryan did not utilize university resources during the course of the relationship in question. The university concluded the issue was a private matter. Bo Ryan’s resignation on Dec. 15, 2015 was entirely his decision.”

Later Saturday, Ryan sent a statement to ESPN's Andy Katz. Ryan admitted in the statement that he "made a mistake in my private life" which involved a relationship outside his marriage to Kelly Ryan, a relationship with a woman who was not connected to UW.

"I am a lucky man. Through Kelly's strength and understanding we have gotten through this difficult situation together. Throughout my career I have worked to help others. Now I am in the position of receiving help from Kelly who has taught me a lot about forgiveness," said Ryan.

"Our focus is on moving forward in a relationship that is stronger than ever."

Click here to read the correspondence which Deadspin said it received from the university through a public records request. Some of it is shared below.

Bo Ryan Letter by Deadspin