Amid a swirl of rumors surrounding the health and coaching future of College of Charleston menâ€™s head basketball coach Bobby Cremins, the athletic department closed this afternoonâ€™s practice and ushered media off the floor before any players or coaches arrived.
The Post and Courierâ€™s Gene Sapakoff reported via Twitter this afternoon that Cremins, â€śfor non-life threatening health reasons, will step down, at least briefly,â€ť citing â€śa high-level source.â€ť
Even though the coaching staff had wanted to tell the players in a meeting before todayâ€™s 3:15 p.m. practice, many heard the news second-hand or through the social media grapevine. Injured freshman Anthony Stitt responded on Twitter: â€śI feel betrayed,â€ť and followed that with â€śIâ€™m hurtin right now… I ainâ€™t even gonna lie.â€ť
The athletic department has scheduled a 6:15 p.m. press conference on the floor of TD Arena.
When asked if players would be available during the press conference, Director of Athletics Communications Marlene Navor said yes. When asked if Cremins would be available, she hesitated and then said, simply, â€śThere will be a press conference at 6:15.â€ť
The normally upbeat Cremins was visibly subdued after Thursday loss to Furman, the Cougarsâ€™ seventh in 10 games.
â€śWe were a frustrated team and that’s my responsibility,â€ť Cremins said. â€śI really feel like I did not have this team ready to play in the first half. That was very disappointing to me.
â€ś I want to apologize to our fans. I take full responsibility (for the loss). One thing I can guarantee: We are going to show up on Saturday and try to do the best we can (against Wofford).â€ť
It is expected that associate head coach Mark Byington will be named acting head coach. Byington joined the Cougars staff under then-head coach Tom Herrion in 2002 and then rejoined the staff in 2005 after spending the 2004-2005 season as the director of basketball operations at Virginia. He is a former high school player of the year in Virginia, and was second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association for UNC Wilmington in his senior season.