LSU Athletic Director Resigns After Ethics Charges

Associated Press

Bob Brodhead, Louisiana State University's embattled athletic director, resigned Tuesday, a day before he was to have gone before the university athletic council to answer charges of violating the state ethics code.

An LSU spokesman said that Brodhead submitted a brief letter saying: "I have decided that it is in the best interest of all concerned that I tender my resignation."

The resignation is effective Dec. 1.

"We hope this will bring an end to the publicity so the university can get back to the business of education," said Nathan Fisher, Brodhead's attorney.

Brodhead refused comment.

LSU Chancellor James Wharton said university boosters paid an undisclosed sum to buy out the remaining three years of Brodhead's contract.

"Mr. Brodhead has reached a settlement with a group of anonymous donors who are friends of LSU," Wharton said. "Neither the donors nor Mr. Brodhead want the amount of the settlement made public. The resignation does not involve any public funds."

Brodhead was to have appeared Wednesday before the LSU Athletic Council to answer the ethics charges, which involved a free vacation trip paid for by Baton Rouge media executive Douglas Manship and alleged improper payments for a Brodhead radio show.

The three charges each carry a maximum $5,000 fine and were to be heard Dec. 18 by the State Board of Ethics for Public Employees.

Manship said there was no intention to violate the Ethics Code.

Wharton suspended Brodhead after the board filed the charges Oct. 8. Wharton had instructed the athletic council, an arm of the LSU governing board, to hear the charges and make a recommendation on Brodhead's status.

Wharton had warned Brodhead to avoid any further misconduct after Brodhead pleaded guilty April 18 to a federal charge of trying to electronically eavesdrop on National Collegiate Athletic Assn. investigators. He was sentenced to perform 200 hours of community service for the wiretap charge. The university also stripped him of any pay raises or bonuses he would have been due for the remainder of his contract.

Wharton recommended that acting Athletic Director Larry Jones continue in that position indefinitely. Jones was assistant athletic director before advancing after Brodhead's suspension.

Brodhead came to LSU in 1981 from the Miami Dolphins, where he was business manager.

LSU's football team represented the Southeastern Conference in the Sugar Bowl in 1985. Last season, the basketball team advanced to the NCAA Final Four and the baseball team made it to the College World Series.

The success of the program during the 1985-86 season earned LSU the Bernie Moore Trophy awarded annually to the SEC school with the best overall athletics.

He also turned around years of financial problems in the athletic department, earning him the nickname "Bottom-line Bob," one he seemed to enjoy.

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