UW-Madison chancellor: Bo Ryan cleared of misusing UW funds in reported affair

PHOTOS: The many faces of Bo Ryan

Retired University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan was cleared of allegations that he misused university resources, according to a statement from Chancellor Becky Blank Saturday.

In the statement, Blank said UW-Madison received allegations in February 2015 that Ryan had misused university resources.

An emailed letter dated May 13, 2015, indicates a woman had contacted the UW Division of Athletics to report that she had entered into a romantic relationship with Ryan and that she felt Ryan had not treated her appropriately.

The letter also indicated the woman had “accompanied Ryan on ‘numerous basketball recruiting trips to stay with him, including Kansas City, Las Vegas, Chicago and Minneapolis,’ and implied that University resources may have been used to cover the expenses you incurred on these trips.”

News 3 obtained the email dated Feb. 11, 2015, that the woman sent the university, in which she claims her romantic relationship with Ryan lasted nearly six years, and that she ended it a couple months before sending the email.

Blank’s statement said that prior to the woman’s complaint, Ryan had disclosed to the university that he had an improper personal relationship with a person unaffiliated with the university.

The Division of Athletics letter, signed by Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Raymond Taffora and Deputy Athletic Director Walter Dickey, said Ryan made the department aware of the relationship on Dec. 2, 2014, about two months before the reported complaint.

Blank said the university’s Office of Legal Affairs and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics “performed a thorough review” and determined on May 13, 2015, that “Ryan did not utilize university resources during the course of the relationship in question.”

Blank said the university concluded the issue was a private matter, and that Ryan’s resignation on Dec. 15, 2015, “was entirely his decision.”

In a statement to ESPN Saturday, Ryan said the affair was a “mistake in my private life,” and that it had nothing to do with “my retirement many months later.”

Taffora and Dickey’s letter in response to the complaint says the university reviewed flight itineraries, expense reports and email messages between Ryan and the individual who was claiming Ryan misused resources and found no evidence of misuse.

“We did not find any evidence where an expense associated with any airfare, hotel room stay, food, drink, or entertainment expenses for you was borne by the University,” Taffora and Dickey’s letter stated. “In fact, in our interview of Coach Ryan, he denied submitting any request for reimbursement of expenses attributable to you and indicated that he paid the expenses for you for these items himself.”