Penn State fencers defend their fired coach

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 18, 2013 5:04 PM

(State College) -- Ten members of Penn State's fencing team are defending their ex-coach who was fired last month for violating a policy designed to protect employees who report wrongful conduct.

Several of the fencers say they joined the Penn State team specifically because they like Emmanuil Kaidanov, who emigrated from the former Soviet Union and coached the university's men's and women's fencing teams for three decades, winning 12 NCAA team championships.

The 73-year-old coach was fired because he questioned his assistant's decision to report alleged misconduct by a team member on the university's tip line instead of telling him about it, he says.

Although the allegation turned out to be false, the university fired Kaidanov on grounds that his comments were retaliatory.

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