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Brandon Stokes had been the FAU men's tennis coach since 2008.

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FAU fires tennis coach

Updated 5:34 p.m.:FAU fires men's tennis coach Brandon Stokes one match into the season, telling him he sanctioned "borderline hazing" activity

Originally published on 1/28/2013

by Chuck King

Florida Atlantic fired men's tennis coach Brandon Stokes one match into the spring season.

Stokes, who had been at FAU since 2008, said he was told by FAU Athletic Director Pat Chun on Friday he was being dismissed  due to "borderline hazing." Chun declined an interview request  with OwlAccess.com citing a policy not to discuss personnel decisions and Stokes denies there was any hazing on the tennis team, however an FAU spokesperson confirmed Stokes is no longer the coach of the team.

Stokes said he was called away from practice to meet with Chun on Friday. Stokes said Chun told him about a concern over borderline hazing and fired him in the meeting.

“That's an allegation that is not true,” Stokes said of Chun's statement.

The move came one match into the team tennis season. FAU fell to 0-2 on the year with a loss to Florida A&M over the weekend.

An FAU spokesman said the Owls have not named an interim coach and likely won't hire a full-time replacement until after the season.

Stokes said Chun did not elaborate about whether he was concerned about a single incident or a pattern of incidents. A parent of a current player told Owl Access.com  he was told there were multiple minor incidents that prompted the decision.

The tennis team roster has been in a constant state of flux during Stokes' tenure, which began in 2008. All seven members on the 2012 team were new to the Owls from the year previous. Only three of those players returned to the eight-player team for the 2013 season. The Owls' current roster only has one senior, Jose Fantova, who  transferred to FAU for his final year of eligibility. There are no juniors on the team.

The continuous shuffling of players will likely have a negative effect on the school's APR – which could then contribute to the triggering of scholarship reductions in other FAU sports.

Stokes led FAU to a conference finals appearance in his first season. He doesn't plan to appeal the decision within the university.

“I have other options to pursue to defend myself,” Stokes said.

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