PSU Fencing Team Fighting Back After Coach Fired

Current Penn State fencers are fighting to get their coach back, saying he was fired for no reason.
PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - Current Penn State fencers are fighting to get their coach back, saying he was fired for no reason.

The girl at the center of the controversy explained what happened that lead to her coach's firing. She and others are upset about how Penn State handled it and now, they want him back.

"I came here for Coach K," Kane Gladnick said. "He recruited me, he was the one that brought me here. I couldn't be more thankful because I'm so appreciative to have my time here."

Gladnick says the news of her coach, Emmanuil Kaidanov's firing was shocking.

"It crushed me to know that I was, it was part of something I had a part of that was the reason they let Coach K go," she said.

Gladnick says it all happened on a bus heading to a fencing tournament in February. She had a piece of rolled up medical tape that was mistaken by the team's secretary for drugs.

Gladnick says the incident was reported straight to university athletics and police. She took a drug test and was cleared of all accusations.

"Because Coach K asked the person who made the accusations about the situation, he was falsely accused of retaliating against her and was fired," Gladnick said. "All Coach K wanted was to find the truth."

Kaidanov's lawyer, Alvin de Levie, says even to this day, Penn State hasn't given the coach a chance to explain.

"Penn State doesn't want to give the coach a reasonable and fair opportunity to fight back and clear his name," he said.

Members of the fencing team say Coach K was more than just a coach and say now, it's time to fight back.

"I love Penn State and I love going to school here," Gladnick said. "But reckless accusations of a university employee not only could have effected my future forever, but also led to the firing of a great coach."

Penn State declined comment Wednesday, saying this is a personnel matter.
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