Jeff Hathaway stepped down as UConn athletic director Friday in a move that had been anticipated since the school began a review of his performance earlier this summer.
There had been reports of tensions between Hathaway, UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun and former football coach Randy Edsall, as well as problems with fund raising. When Susan Herbst took over as school president, she hired an independent firm to review the athletic department.
The school announced in a statement Friday night that Hathaway had retired.
“I have been proud to serve the University of Connecticut for nearly two decades, including the last eight years as director of athletics,” Hathaway said in a statement. “It is an honor and privilege to have led this outstanding division of athletics and to have worked with so many remarkable student-athletes, coaches, staff members and colleagues at the university, the Big East conference and NCAA. It has been incredibly rewarding to have collaborated with so many exceptional individuals during this proud period of academic and athletic excellence. After 20 years of being associated with UConn, I felt the time was right for me to pursue new challenges. I wish the very best to all those associated with UConn athletics, and to this great University, now and long into the future.”
While UConn is coming off a BCS appearance and national title in men's basketball, there have been problems under his watch. The men's basketball team violated NCAA rules in the recruitment of Nate Miles. In January, one of the biggest donors to the athletic department ripped Hathaway for keeping him out of the loop in the search for a new football coach and threatened to take back nearly $3 million in donations. The letter Robert Burton wrote to Hathaway was made public, a huge embarrassment following the hire of Paul Pasqualoni.
In the end, it appeared this was the best decision for all involved. One more thing to note: The school said it would not stand in the way if Hathaway is allowed to continue on with his duties as chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. The NCAA issued a statement late Friday night saying the NCAA men's basketball staff would meet to determine what to do about the remainder of Hathaway's term.
Paul McCarthy, senior associate director of athletics, will assume Hathaway's responsibilities until an interim director is named.