SBD/November 10, 2011/Colleges

UCF AD Keith Tribble Resigns Following NCAA Investigations

Tribble leaves after probes
determine he lied about violations
UCF AD Keith Tribble and assistant football coach David Kelly “both agreed to resign Wednesday after NCAA and UCF staff members working on concurrent investigations determined they lied about their knowledge of flagrant NCAA rule violations,” according to Iliana Limon of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. UCF President John Hitt named retired Admiral Al Harms interim AD. Hitt said that Harms “will help oversee a review of UCF athletic policies and the school will conduct a national search” for a new AD. UCF, currently a member of Conference USA, is “expected to formally accept an invitation to join the Big East this week.” Hitt said that he “did not expect the NCAA findings to have any impact on UCF's move to the Big East.” UCF Assistant VP Grant Heston said that Tribble is “scheduled to be paid for the next 90 days,” and Kelly “will be paid for the next 75 days, the remainder of his one-year contract with the school.” Tribble and Kelly "were accused of providing false and misleading information to the institution and (NCAA) enforcement staff." UCF plans to review the NCAA allegations “during the next 90 days and will impose any additional sanctions it deems necessary.” Those sanctions could include “a reduction in scholarships and limited access to recruits” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/10). Hitt said that he informed C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky and Big East Commissioner John Marinatto “about the NCAA investigation and the resignations.” Hitt: "Both had been aware of the ongoing NCAA investigation. The report will not impact our conference realignment prospects." He added, "It is not a game-changer. … It does not delay our entry into the Big East." Hitt said that he “thinks the Big East's expansion plan, which includes UCF, is moving forward and should ‘reach a successful conclusion’ within a week” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/10).

POINTING FINGERS: In Orlando, Mike Bianchi writes Hitt is “considered a man of integrity, and you could hear the hurt in his voice when discussing Tribble's role in this sordid, stinking mess.” Hitt said of Tribble, "As the athletic director, he has a higher responsibility. He's the one the president and the chancellor count on to make sure the bar (of compliance) is raised." Tribble not only “failed to raise the bar, he lowered it into the sewer.” His regime as AD “can only be described as an unmitigated disaster.” Bianchi: “He did not have a close relationship with the big-money boosters. As a fundraiser, he was a flop. As an administrator, he presided over a dysfunctional athletic department.” Bianchi writes there is “one bright spot: At least it's not Penn State” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/10).
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