School plans to hire new director
SEATTLE -- The University of Washington on Wednesday retained the services of a consulting firm that handles NCAA compliance issues and named a staff member from that company to serve as the school's interim compliance director.
The university initially hired The Compliance Group, of Lenexa, Kan., last fall to audit the athletic department. The firm's study of Washington compliance operations is expected within coming weeks.
Jane Mullens, a member of The Compliance Group's staff, will act as Washington's interim compliance director. She is expected to stay through May or June, when school officials hope to hire a new compliance director.
"We feel fortunate that she was available to oversee the department on a temporary basis, and at the same time, start to implement some of the recommendations The Compliance Group will present in their final report," interim athletic director Dick Thompson said.
Thompson also announced plans to reorganize Washington's compliance office.
The compliance director's position will be elevated to the senior administrative level. The next person to hold the office will be a senior associate athletic director and report to the athletic director.
"That is not a universal approach, but with a department as large as the one at Washington, it is appropriate," Thompson said.
The job has been vacant since Dana Richardson resigned earlier this month. Washington also needs to hire two assistant compliance directors to replace former employees who accepted promotions elsewhere.
Richardson served as an assistant athletic director, reporting to the school's faculty athletic representative and a senior associate athletic director for sports programs and student services.
Richardson made headlines last summer when former football coach Rick Neuheisel circulated a memo that she wrote to the athletic staff. Neuheisel claimed it had given him permission to gamble in off-campus NCAA basketball pools.
The NCAA bans all gambling by coaches, staff and athletes, and a Pac-10 investigation determined the memo was wrong. Neuheisel has sued the NCAA and Washington over his firing, using the memo as a keystone in his legal challenge.
Mullens is a native of Tacoma, Wash. Before joining The Compliance Group, she served as chief women's sports administrator, assistant athletics director for compliance, and compliance coordinator at Maryland from 1996-2002.
She was compliance coordinator at Miami from 1994 to 1996.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press