Eaton Fired as NKU Athletic Director, "Lacked Integrity"
Northern Kentucky University fired athletic director Scott Eaton on Monday.
University President Geoffrey Mearns issued a statemen that said in part, "My decision was compelled by his failure to comply with the University's Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct. His conduct did not meet his responsibility to the University and lacked fundamental integrity. My action was also necessary to maintain our commitment to the University's core values and to protect the best interests of the institution. The information that I received about Mr. Eaton required a swift and decisive response."
In the statement, Mearns said he received information on March 8 alerting him of possible misconduct on Eaton's part. Three days later Mearns received more information and the next morning the university retained the Cincinnati law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl to conduct an independent and thorough investigation. Eaton was suspended that day.
"The information generated during the initial phase of the investigation formed the basis for my decision to terminate Mr. Eaton's employment," Mearns said in the statement.
The investigation into Eaton's alleged wrongdoing continues. Gerard St. Armand, NKU's vice president for university advancement, will serve as acting athletic director in the interim.
"I am disappointed by this development, but our University is a strong institution. Our strength derives from our collective commitment to integrity and to maintaining the highest levels of personal and professional conduct," Mearns said. " Like all members of our university community, I share this commitment."
Eaton was named athletic director in July 2009, replacing Jane Meier who served in the role for more than two decades.
Prior to NKU, Eaton worked at Brown University in Providence, R.I., as special assistant to the athletic director and assistant men’s basketball coach. Eaton graduated from Bowdoin College in 1986 after participating in basketball, lacrosse, cross country and track.
He later earned master’s degrees from both Fitchburg State College and Springfield College before receiving his doctorate from Boston University.
NKU is participating in its first full year of NCAA Division I athletics and Eaton recently helped the university launch its Go Gold campaign which aims to raise $6 million for its athletics programs.
Photo: Eaton (right) with former NKU President Dr. James Votruba in a photo sent to the media at the time of the announcement that Eaton had been hired