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Stoner Will Step Down at Illinois

Neale Stoner, University of Illinois athletic director, will resign after an investigation that revealed improper personal use of gifts and services, Chancellor Morton Weir announced Tuesday.

Stoner, however, said it was a “media-created controversy” and that he was tried and convicted before the probe was complete. He said he would step down so the charges do not interfere with the operation of the university’s Athletic Assn.

Weir said attorneys expected details of Stoner’s resignation to be worked out by Thursday and that the settlement “won’t be costly.”

Stoner was hired by Illinois in November, 1979, after serving seven years as the Cal State Fullerton athletic director.

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The Illinois school began an investigation of the Athletic Assn. this spring after employees charged they had been ordered to clean Stoner’s swimming pool, move him to a new house, build cabinets, install a workbench and repair his automobiles.

Stoner acknowledged that during more than eight years as athletic director he did, on a few occasions, allow Athletic Assn. maintenance employees to do personal work for him--services worth about $904. However, he said that practice was well established in the Athletic Assn. before he came to Illinois.

The nonprofit Athletic Assn., headed by Stoner and overseen by a board of directors, directs the school’s intercollegiate athletic programs with considerable independence from the university.

The chancellor said the school’s investigation revealed that over a five-year period, Athletic Assn. employees performed work on Stoner’s home, yard and family cars.

In addition, he said dry-cleaning services credited as a donation to the Athletic Assn. were used by Stoner and his family, though the company did not take the donation as a tax deduction.


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