Bo Ryan had an extramarital affair that caused Wisconsin to investigate him for a potential misuse of university funds, according to reports from the Wisconsin State Journal and from Deadspin. Wisconsin claims the investigation had nothing to do with Ryan’s abrupt resignation in December.
Rumors of infidelity have dogged Ryan for years, but in February of 2015 a woman contacted Wisconsin and claimed she had carried on a lengthy affair with the coach. The school launched an investigation into the situation and concluded that he had not misused university funds. Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank claims that Ryan’s resignation was “entirely his decision.”
The Wisconsin State Journal named the woman who sent the school the letter: Robin Van Ert, a massage therapist. (More information about her can be found via the Society for Oncology Massage.)
In February of 2015, the woman in question sent an email to university officials, claiming she had known Ryan for six years and he had immediately pursued her upon their meeting. She claims Ryan’s family eventually became aware of the relationship and that she believed he was not fit to serve as a representative or role model for the university.
She claimed that she had accompanied Ryan on “numerous” recruiting trips, naming Kansas City, Las Vegas, Chicago and Minneapolis specifically. She then called the 68-year-old, “a man who is manipulative, a liar, cheater and deceptive.”
Ryan was interviewed by the athletic department over the allegations and it was determined that he did not violate any university policies.
Having lived in Wisconsin I can tell you that Ryan is absolutely revered by many in that state. He can do no wrong in the eyes of a significant portion of the population. This story will certainly tarnish that image but people will still love him there.