The Cincinnati Bearcats’ men’s basketball program has experienced a mass roster exodus in recent days, with six players entering the transfer portal. According to numerous sources close to the program and familiar with the decisions, the departures are tied to a rift between those players and coach John Brannen.

The string of withdrawals is the latest and most pronounced in a stretch of significant roster turnover during Brannen’s two years at Cincinnati. Seven players recruited by Brannen since he was hired in 2019 have left the program. Of the seven Bearcats roster additions made prior to the 2020-21 season, only two currently remain, with four of the five high school signees from the 2020 recruiting class gone after less than a year on campus.

Details of the rift and issues that caused the recent departures have been brewing all season, sources said, even during the team’s late, dramatic run to the American Athletic Conference championship game. Multiple players opted out and left the team during the season, while others resolved to band together and play out the rest of the year for each other, sources said.