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Coach wonders if Miller should remain

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WENGEN, Switzerland — U.S. ski coach Phil McNichol questions whether Bode Miller should remain with the team following his comments about racing and drinking.

The overall World Cup champion said during a "60 Minutes" profile on CBS that it's not easy "to ski when you're wasted."

The United States Ski and Snowboard Association has been swamped with angry phone calls from team donors and corporate sponsors since those remarks, and president and CEO Bill Marolt traveled to Wengen to meet with Miller.

McNichol said Tuesday that Miller has been testing the team's limits the last two years with his contentious statements, late-night habits and refusal to compromise with staff.

"I don't know what the answer is. First we have to call the question: Can we still do this together?" McNichol told The Associated Press. "I think the question Bode has to answer is: Do you still want to be a part of the United States ski team?"

"He's always tried to be a rebel, which was OK because it was fun sometimes and actually brought a lot of thinking outside the box and pushed the barriers," he added. "However, it's grown to a place where it's no longer about being opinionated and outspoken. It's about how much do I really want to be here."

Miller, who travels the tour independently in his own RV, could race separately from the U.S. team. Kristina Koznick left the women's team in 2000 to train and race autonomously with boyfriend and coach Dan Stripp.

Such a move could require Miller to handle his own logistic and administrative responsibilities and pay for his own coaches, service and travel.

Miller, who last season became the first U.S. skier to win the overall World Cup title in 22 years, told the CBS program in a broadcast aired Sunday that "there's been times when I've been in really tough shape at the top of the course."

"Talk about a hard challenge right there," Miller said. "It's like driving drunk only there's no rules about it in ski racing."

Asked if the risk meant he would never ski drunk again, the 28-year-old Miller replied, "No, I'm not saying that."