Shawn Eichorst, Miami athletic director, resigned the position on Thursday, another ding to a department bracing for NCAA sanctions.
Eichorst has not spoken with reporters in months.. His resignation comes two days before Miami plays Notre Dame, the first regular-season meeting between the storied football programs since 1990.
A source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the university – which was scrambling Thursday to decide how to fill Eichorst’s role on a short-term basis – had not publicly announced Eichorst’s decision. Various reports in Nebraska have identified Eichorst this week as a candidate to replace the retiring Tom Osborne as the Cornhuskers’ athletic director.
Eichorst’s tenure at Miami lasted less than 18 months. He was hired by the Hurricanes after serving as Wisconsin’s Chief Operating Officer for athletics, overseeing a $90 million budget and being closely involved with a $100 million construction project for ice hockey, swimming and football. Eichorst was highly recommended for the Miami job by his one-time boss at Wisconsin, athletic director Barry Alvarez – a close friend of Miami President Donna Shalala.
Alvarez is also a graduate of Nebraska.
Eichorst arrived with Miami’s athletic department in flux: Funds were being raised for facility upgrades, and the school was in the process of hiring a basketball coach to replace Frank Haith, eventually deciding on bringing in Jim Larranaga. Quietly, though, the Hurricanes were also under NCAA investigation over their compliance practices, which wound up overshadowing everything Eichorst did at Miami.
The story over Miami’s NCAA mess broke publicly in August 2011, when claims made by former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro – now serving a 20-year prison term for his role in bilking investors out of $930 million – were published by Yahoo Sports. Shapiro said he provided dozens of Miami athletes and recruits with impermissible benefits over an eight-year period starting in 2002.
The NCAA is expected to provide Miami with its notice of allegations later this year, with sanctions – which could be severe – to follow.