Notre Dame Athletic Director Mike Wadsworth To Step Down
His five-year commitment concludes this year.

Feb. 7, 2000

University of Notre Dame president Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., and athletic director Michael Wadsworth today announced their agreement that Wadsworth will step down from his position when his five-year commitment to the University concludes this year.

“We have come through the NCAA matter, we are reaching the end of the current five-year plan in the athletic department, and my personal five-year commitment to the University also is about to end,” Wadsworth said. “Reflecting on the timing of all these events with the restructuring that Father Malloy intends to carry out, I believe it’s in both the University’s and my best interests to end my tenure this year.”

“Mike Wadsworth and I have reached this agreement based on a number of factors,” Father Malloy said. “I stated in December that the University’s response to the recent problems in our football program had included a comprehensive external review of our athletic policies and procedures. As a result of that review, I have decided to institute a substantial restructuring of administrative responsibilities in athletics. In light of this restructuring, Mike’s five-year commitment, and the conclusion of the current five-year plan in athletics, he and I agree that now is the time for a fresh start for us both.

“I will soon appoint and chair a committee to conduct a search for a new athletic director, who will report to me.

“Father Bill Beauchamp continues in his role as executive vice president with multiple and increasingly complex responsibilities as the University’s chief financial officer as well as the officer in charge of an endowment approaching $3 billion, an annual operating budget of almost $500 million, additional hundreds of millions of dollars in construction expenditures, and human resources operations for the University’s 3,900 employees.”

Father Malloy expressed his gratitude to Wadsworth for his service to the University and noted the outstanding accomplishments of the current five-year plan in athletics:

* Notre Dame’s entry into BIG EAST competition in most sports other than football has produced four consecutive all-sports trophies for its men’s programs and three straight in women’s competition,

* Notre Dame and Stanford are the nation’s only two universities to rank in the top 20 of the U.S. News & World Report survey of educational excellence and average a top 20 finish in the Sears Directors’ Cup standings for all-sports accomplishments,

* Notre Dame’s overall athletic program was ranked third in the nation in a recent Sporting News evaluation of standards ranging from on-field to academic performance,

* 20 Notre Dame women and 15 men have earned Academic All-American honors during the course of the plan,

* the cumulative grade-point average of Notre Dame student-athletes is virtually identical with that of the student body during the period,

* the graduation rate for Notre Dame student-athletes who complete four years of eligibility is 99 percent.

“There is no denying that problems often lead to accomplishments being overlooked, and that certainly has been true with respect to Mike Wadsworth, whose contributions to Notre Dame have been substantial” Father Malloy said. “As I said in December, Mike and Father Beauchamp and I all are committed to doing everything we can to uphold Notre Dame’s high standards for the conduct of athletics.”