Scott Eaton evaluations released, no new information in case

Three weeks after NKU athletic director Scott Eaton was unexpectedly fired for ethical misconduct, the university still has no new information to release to the public about the current investigation. The letter President Geoffrey Mearns sent to Eaton regarding his termination stated the director “failed to provide the university with truthful and complete information.”

Also from the letter, obtained through the university by The Northerner, Mearns said the untruthfulness occurred during the “initial phase of the university’s investigation.”

NKU did release personnel evaluations for Scott Eaton from 2009 until his termination, which provided no information relating to ethical misconduct, but talked highly of the director who received average and above average scores from his supervisor.

The university also released personnel evaluations for Chrissy Soards, who resigned from her position as associate director for compliance and student athletic services last week. Under supervision of Eaton since 2009, Soards’ evaluation scores were also average and above average and did not include information regarding Eaton’s termination.

When asked about a connection between Eaton’s firing and Soards’ resignation, Mearns said he could not comment because of the ongoing investigation.

In response to an open records request for information regarding Soards and Eaton, NKU legal counsel said the public’s interest in the disclosure of non-exempt personnel file records and in the compliance functions of the Athletics Department outweigh their privacy rights.

The investigation into the misconduct is still ongoing and there is not a set date for when it will be completed, according to Mearns. Requested records including email correspondence and university-issued cell phone records are still being compiled and will not be available before 11 a.m. on April 15, as stated in the responses received from NKU legal counsel.

April 15 is also the day the new interim athletic director Michael Cusack is stepping into the new position. Mearns said the fact that Cusack starts on April 15 and records will not be available until the same day is a coincidence.