Thirer Resigns as BU Athletic Director; Broadus Safe For Now

By Justin Horowitz

July 22, 2010 Updated Sep 30, 2009 at 8:15 PM EST

VESTAL - Too much freedom and not enough oversight, it appears that was the culture permitted in the Binghamton University Men's Basketball program under Athletic Director Joel Thirer.

And it's that culture that has Thirer out of a job.

University President Lois DeFleur announced Thirer's resignation at a hastily called press conference late this afternoon.

The announcement comes less than a week after starting point guard Emmanuel "Tiki" Mayben was arrested for selling crack cocaine and subsequently kicked off the team.

A day later, five more members of the team were released for reasons that have yet to be made public.

DeFleur says she has had extensive meetings with Head Coach Kevin Broadus and has ordered him to develop a detailed recruitment and supervision plan for the basketball program.

But for now, his job appears to be safe.

"He has assured me, at this time, that he is on board with the expectations and with, as he has said, with where we want to go and I have to take him at his word," says Binghamton University President Lois DeFleur.

Broadus was given a contract extension through 2014 back in June.

DeFleur says an outside consultant will be brought in to conduct an audit on the entire athletic program, but she adds there is no indication any NCAA violations have been committed.

Also today, DeFleur named Jim Norris as the interim athletic director to replace the resigning Joel Thirer.

Norris has been in charge of BU's other 19 sports besides Men's and Women's basketball for the past nine years.

He also spent four seasons as the university's head men's basketball coach in the late 90s, just prior to the Division One transition.

He compiled a 52 and 53 record.

Norris also spoke briefly today and I asked him how he might use his past to help the future of the program.

As a former Men's Basketball coach, how do you hope to try to turn the reputation of this program around?

"Well, I'll just say that I'm confident in my ability to take our department and move it forward," says Norris. "Take a look at what we've done with the 19 programs under my watch and I'm fully confident that we'll get our program headed in a proper direction, ok, thank you."

Thirer has been re-assigned at the university.

DeFleur says he will work in the office of the provost on undergrad transfer projects.

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