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Cincinnati places coach John Brannen on paid leave

Feb 14, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats head coach John Brannen reacts to fans after defeating the UCF Knights at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats head coach John Brannen reacts to fans after defeating the UCF Knights at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati placed men’s basketball coach John Brannen on paid administrative leave Saturday pending completion of a university review of the Bearcats’ program.

The school announced last week that it was looking into “allegations related to its men’s basketball program.” No specific allegations were cited.

“The University has always put the welfare of its student-athletes first,” read a March 26 statement from athletic director John Cunningham. “We feel this is an essential step to ensure that all of our athletic programs meet the highest standards.”

Brannen, 47, led the Bearcats to a 12-11 record in 2020-21, a season that saw several players opt out of the season and several games canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The season ended with a 91-54 loss to Houston in the American Athletic Conference tournament final on March 14.

Brannen guided Cincinnati to a 20-10 record in his first season with the program in 2019-20, finishing tied for first in the American Athletic Conference with a 13-5 record.

Brannen coached for four seasons at Northern Kentucky before being hired to replace Mick Cronin, now the head coach at UCLA.

–Field Level Media