Former SIU player Hawkins resigns coaching position

Updated: December 19, 2005, 8:19 PM ET
Associated Press

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Southern Illinois assistant basketball coach indicted as part of a federal investigation into a Kansas community college's athletic program resigned Monday, the school announced.

Shane Hawkins, 29, had been on a paid leave of absence since Oct. 20, a day after being accused of making a false statement before a federal grand jury investigating athletic improprieties at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan.

Hawkins was an assistant at Barton County from 1999 until 2001, according to the SIU men's basketball media guide. A former SIU player who graduated in 1999 and holds the school record for career 3-point shooting, Hawkins was promoted to assistant coach at Southern Illinois last season after working there as a graduate assistant in athletics.

In a resignation letter submitted Monday, Hawkins wrote that his decision to leave the program "was difficult, but it will allow me to focus on personal matters that require my attention at this time."

There was no public telephone listing for a Shane Hawkins in the Carbondale area.

Head coach Chris Lowery didn't indicate when Hawkins' successor would be hired.

Coaches at Barton County have been accused of getting athletes grants they were not qualified to receive and campus jobs that paid them for work they did not perform; of helping the athletes with correspondence courses and tests; and of sending false academic credentials to other schools on the athletes' behalf.

The investigation also led to the firing of former Barton County president Veldon Law.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press