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UAlbany keeps men's basketball coach, but Dwayne Killings fined $25,000, suspended five games

University at Albany men's basketball coach Dwayne Killings
UAlbany web stream
University at Albany men's basketball coach Dwayne Killings

The University at Albany is keeping its embattled men’s basketball coach, but Dwayne Killings will be suspended for five games next season and fined $25,000 following an internal investigation into “inappropriate physical contact” with a member of the team.

UAlbany announced the move Saturday after Killings’ future remained uncertain for days, following reports that he was away from the team during the probe.

UAlbany says it received a complaint against Killings on Feb. 27 and launched an investigation that included “temporarily placing Killings on an alternative assignment to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the inquiry.”

According to Saturday’s statement, the investigation showed there was inappropriate physical contact between Killings and a player during a pre-game hype circle before a road game on Nov. 24. UAlbany did not specify the nature of the contact and said it was an isolated incident. But the incident was not reported to administration.

UAlbany has declined to comment further about the nature of the incident or the investigation’s findings.

Killings’ suspension will be served during the 2022-23 season, and he will pay a $25,000 fine to a local non-profit selected by UAlbany. The SUNY school added Killings will be subject to mandatory training on reporting policies.

Killings released a letter to the college president along with UAlbany’s statement, which says in part:

“My players have often heard me say that I love them, I’ve invested so much of myself in them, which has yielded rewards for all of us both on and off the court. On November 24, 2021, I neglected to represent that, and I would like to apologize to you, the student-athlete, his family, the UAlbany community, the Capital Region community, our student-athletes, my staff, and all those who I humbly represent. I realize that the physical contact I had with the student-athlete during the pre-game hype circle was inappropriate, and not communicating it to the UAlbany administration was a mistake. Neither action will be repeated, and the pursuit of success within my program is of paramount importance.”

Killings took over a year ago when the Great Danes parted ways with Will Brown after 20 years. It is his first head coaching job. He turns 42 this week.

He led UAlbany to a 13-18 finish in his first season in the America East.

After news of the probe broke, local civil rights leaders spoke Thursday in Albany in support of the Amherst, Mass. native, saying he went above and beyond in reaching out and bridging the gap between college and community.

As WAMC first reported in December, Killings is making a base salary of $365,000 on a contract that runs through the end of the 2025-2026 season.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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