Records: Ex-U. Iowa official had been fired in SC
"I know for a fact that was done absolutely correctly and openly," said N. William Hines, chair of the Presidential Committee on Athletics, which provides oversight of the athletics department.
University of Iowa spokesman Tom Moore declined comment Wednesday on the Coastal Carolina records. President Sally Mason is reviewing the Gray case, and the Iowa Board of Regents also is gathering information.
Patricia Sizemore, then Coastal Carolina's vice president of enrollment management, recommended hiring Gray at its academic center in summer 1998. But by January, records show, Sizemore had a conversation to inform Gray that his employment would be ending May 15, before his one-year probationary period ended. "We wish you success in all your future endeavors," she wrote.
Gray had worked at the University of Mississippi athletics department from 1995 to 1998. A school lawyer said Wednesday that it had not turned up any complaints about Gray's behavior or the details of his departure, but that it continues to look.
Gray also worked at Indiana University's athletics department from 1999 to 2002 before returning to Iowa, and representatives there had no immediate comment.
Gray has not responded to messages seeking comment, and nobody answered the door Wednesday at an Iowa City address listed for him.
Hines said that he believed Gray was essential in helping countless athletes keep up with their school work and graduate on time over the last decade. He described him as "the happiest guy in the room, upbeat and kind of uplifting" and quick to dole out inspiration and encouragement. But these days, Hines said, Gray is devastated by the sudden downfall of his career and locked himself away in his home.
"This kind of came as a shock," he said. "From our point of view, this was one of our outstanding counselors who was doing a great job."
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