BUFFALO, N.Y. -- William Swan, a banking chief executive who
helped St. Bonaventure weather an eligibility scandal as
the school's board chairman, died of an apparent suicide. He was
Swan, who was found by his wife at their home Wednesday night,
had been "despondent over issues that had occurred as a result of
his positions" at the university, state police said. The coroner
was conducting an autopsy.
Police wouldn't say how he died. But emergency workers responded
to a report of a hanging at Swan's suburban Clarence home,
according to fire control reports.
"He wore St. Bonaventure on his sleeve," Atlantic 10
Conference commissioner Linda Bruno said about Swan. "He was
completely attached to St. Bonaventure. You could tell how genuine
The Atlantic 10 Conference stripped St. Bonaventure of six
victories and barred it from postseason play in March after forward
Jamil Terrell was ruled ineligible for violating NCAA junior
college transfer guidelines. The scandal further cut the basketball
season short because players boycotted the Bonnies' final two
During an emergency session of the school's board, Swan and the
trustees sought and received the resignation of university
president Robert Wickenheiser.
Wickenheiser had taken full responsibility for approving
The board also placed on administrative leave athletic director
Gothard Lane and coach Jan van Breda Kolff. Lane resigned a
month later, and van Breda Kolff was dismissed.
A day later, addressing about 800 students, Swan said there would be no cover-up in the school's investigation. "We will not sacrifice our
values for anything, not even athletic glory," he said.
Swan was a 1969 graduate of St. Bonaventure and had been a board
member since 1990, serving as vice chairman for two years before he
was appointed chairman in August 2000.
In the July/August issue of Trusteeship magazine, Swan wrote
about the basketball scandal.
"I have asked myself countless times: Did I make the right
decisions? Considering the information I had, and balancing it with
my general sense of the responsibilities of trustees, I can report
that I am at peace with my decisions," he wrote.