Bob Valesente, whose University of Kansas football teams were 4-17-1 and without a Big Eight victory in his two seasons, was fired Monday despite the objections of some faculty members.
Athletic Director Bob Frederick said that the decision was one he had "agonized over for weeks" and praised Valesente for his commitment to keeping players out of academic trouble. Valesente contended that he was not given enough time to build a winning program.
Anthony Redwood, a faculty member and chairman of the board that sets general policy for the athletic department, decried the decision as "unprincipled" and "unjustified." Redwood said that he would resign after the panel's emergency meeting today and said that other faculty members on the board also might resign.
"Apparently we lack the courage at this institution to plan a course of action and stick with it," Redwood said. "Certainly to the outside world, this decision must call into question our commitment to the academic dimension of intercollegiate athletics."
Valesente, 47, was in the second year of a four-year contract that paid him an estimated $70,000 annually.
Frederick said he would be willing to consider Earle Bruce, fired from Ohio State last week, or John Hadl, a former Kansas assistant coach, if they were interested.
Meanwhile in Columbus, Ohio, lawyer Phillip D. Cameron, an Ohio State graduate and a former baseball player for the Buckeyes, unsuccessfully sought a temporary restraining order to block Bruce's firing. Cameron said he objects to the taxpayers having to pay the last year of Bruce's three-year contract in 1988.
A judge denied the request, pointing out that Ohio State coaches are paid from athletic department funds and not taxpayer money and that Bruce's contract allows for termination.