UW Athletics administration was informed last weekend that Helland, while recounting a story from earlier in his NBA career, had used a racial epithet in the presence of multiple Wisconsin men’s basketball players. UW Athletics confirmed that assertion on Sunday.
Helland was placed on administrative leave on Monday and did not travel with the Badger men’s basketball team to Minnesota for Wednesday nights game.
There had been numerous reports indicating that UW Athletics was investigating the alleged use of racially insensitive language directed at one student-athlete. That allegation is inaccurate. UW Athletics reports it has no evidence, nor has it been alleged to the athletic department, that Helland directed racially insensitive language toward any member of the men’s basketball team.
Helland had been the strength and conditioning coach for the Wisconsin men’s basketball program since 2013.