STATEMENT FROM BARRY ALVAREZ:A variety of allegations, made anonymously to the Badger Herald by several members of the UW women’s tennis team, were published by the Badger Herald last week on May 4. The allegations asserted that head coach Brian Fleishman’s “actions have put the players’ health at risk” and that Fleishman’s “strict limitations on what they eat and how they train has forced several girls to surrender to unhealthy lifestyles.” The allegations also assert that Fleishman himself “has issues with food” and that he has “inflicted serious physical and mental damage” on members of the team. Further, the allegations state that “certain players have battled with anorexia because of Fleishman’s constant focus on their diets.”No UW athletics administrator had been made aware of these issues prior to last week. Nonetheless, when we were made aware of them, we took them very seriously and immediately began to look into the allegations. Members of our senior staff met individually with each of the women’s tennis student-athletes to give them an opportunity to share their perspectives on their experience with the program and to provide us with background or additional information relating to the allegations against Coach Fleishman that appeared in the Badger Herald.The results of those individual meetings did not verify the seriousness of the allegations made to the Badger Herald. Based on that finding, Coach Fleishman has my support going forward.Every one of our head coaches goes through an annual evaluation and review. That process is currently underway for many of our spring sports coaches, including Coach Fleishman. It is unrealistic to think that any of our coaches would come through an evaluation without an identification of areas they can work on to continue to improve their respective programs. I’m sure Coach Fleishman will be no different. But I am confident that Coach Fleishman’s actions do not match up with the allegations that were anonymously made public last week.
TRADE DEADLINE: Latest news, rumors, top targetsThe Grizzlies let it be known this week that they’re ready to deal stars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, the pairing that has been the anchor of the franchise since Gasol arrived as a 24-year-old rookie traded for his brother, Pau, in 2008. This was big news, except that it came at least a year (maybe two) too late.The real market for members of the Grizzlies, league sources told Sporting News, is in other players on the roster, especially power forward JaMychal Green and guard Garrett Temple. Several teams this week have expressed interest in one or both players, including Portland and Charlotte.”[The Grizzlies] want picks. They want to rebuild,” one front-office executive said. “They’ve given away a lot in the draft, and they need to find ways to get that back. A guy like Green can have a role on any team as a rebounder, and he’s been better offensively. A guy like Temple can come in and help anyone.”If you’re getting Gasol or Conley, you’re talking about changing your whole team, and probably beyond this year.”Assuming the Grizzlies, who have lost 20 of their last 24 games, tank the rest of the way, they’ll keep their first-round draft pick, which figures to come in the No. 5-7 range. They owe Boston a first-rounder, but it is protected for the top eight this season, the top six next year and unprotected in 2021. Memphis would like to convey the pick this year, but the team’s collapse has left that a longshot.The Grizzlies also won’t have a second-round pick in either this year’s draft (probably) or next year’s draft (definitely). Of four potential choices in the next two drafts, then, Memphis may make only one pick.MORE: Grizzlies better brace for lengthy rebuildThat’s where Temple and Green come in. A second-round pick for each might not seem much of a return, but the Grizzlies are currently facing the prospect of rebuilding without picks. There’s an outside hope that Memphis could package the two and land a first-rounder, but you know, everyone has dreams.A smaller-level trade is more likely because the market for both Gasol and Conley is limited. Gasol has been less effective as injuries and age (he turns 34 on Tuesday) have set in, and his status as one of the premier defensive big men is long past. He also has a $25.5 million contract option for next season that complicates potential deals for him.To get rid of Gasol and bring back a first-round pick, the Grizzlies would have to take back a heap of bad money — the Nic Batum contract from Charlotte (two years and $52 million after this season), as an example.Conley had heel surgery last season and has gotten better as the season progressed, averaging 20.0 points and 6.0 assists. He is 31, though, and still owed $67 million over two years after this season. Finding a suitor who could match the $30 million he makes this year would be no easy task, and a deal with, say, Detroit would leave the Grizzlies with Reggie Jackson’s money ($18 million) on the books next year.Indiana would have interest in Conley (a native of Indianapolis), but the Pacers would have to give up Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans and either Doug McDermott or Cory Joseph to make a trade work. That saps the Pacers’ depth, and after losing Victor Oladipo for the season, Indiana has little reason to make a deal now.Trading Gasol or Conley would be a heavy lift, and a deal for Conley might make more sense after the season. If the Grizzlies want picks — any picks — flipping their role players could be the best option.De-Kantering the KnicksThere is a flood of big men on the market, beyond Gasol, and the team that could most benefit is Charlotte, which is looking for depth and hoping to find a center who can fill in until Cody Zeller returns.Gasol certainly makes sense for the Hornets, and another name to watch is center Enes Kanter, who is upset that he’s been jettisoned from the rotation of the woebegone Knicks. Kanter made no bones about his desire to be traded, but league sources also noted that Kanter could be bought out after the deadline.Still, if the Hornets could package the lingering contract of Bismack Biyombo ($17 million next season) with either a draft pick or a young player (Malik Monk, Frank Kaminsky), there could be mutual interest in a Kanter deal. Welcome to Friday, which means another edition of the Rumor-rama. We are now just two weeks from the NBA’s trade deadline, and to the surprise of no one, we’re starting to see a pocket of very bad contracts actively being shopped.Exhibit A: Memphis. Looking for Love… and still waitingAfter signing his mega-extension last summer, Kevin Love, by NBA rules, could not be traded until Jan. 24.Well, we are one day into Love’s trade eligibility. Rest assured, all is quiet.Love had surgery on a left toe in November, and though he’d originally hoped for a January return, there is still no timetable for him to get back on the floor.