I am extremely disappointed in the NCAA ruling, and yes, we are going to appeal.
I have been an athletic director for more than 30 years and, like Dr. Raines, have
served on numerous NCAA committees and boards. I am entering my 13th year as an athletic
director here at the University of Memphis. I can assure you that I have the utmost
respect for the NCAA and place a great deal of importance on the organization’s rules,
regulations, and guidelines for collegiate athletics.
As part of my administrative duties at Memphis, I place a strong emphasis on the NCAA
policies and procedures with the staff of the athletic department and meet several
times a year to review these regulations with our coaches and staff. We are adamant
that these individuals follow the directives explicitly. We have increased the size
of our compliance office over the years, and we use these trained individuals for
instructional sessions with our entire staff.
Our Athletic Department administrative and support staffs are some of the best I have
worked with during my career, and I have every confidence in their abilities. This
group of individuals cares about the University of Memphis and its reputation.
We feel the NCAA findings are extreme, given that some of the charges were more administrative
in nature and certainly were not deliberate violations. We have reviewed our current
policies pertaining to travel and have put new procedures in place to make sure that
these errors do not reoccur in the future.
I truly believe that the future of the Athletic Department at the University of Memphis
is, indeed, very bright. Given the caliber of the coaches we currently have on staff,
we will continue to compete for championships on an annual basis. The NCAA ruling
does not take away our ability to play on television, nor does it limit our NCAA Tournament
appearances. I will also tell you that our department takes great pride in representing
this city and the University at a national level.
Our graduation rates and our fund-raising are at all-time highs. We are building more
new facilities than at any time in school history, and our fan base continues to grow.
We do have a very bright future, and nothing will stop our progress. We will survive
this, and we will be stronger than ever. The Tiger future is bright.