The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

Kody Kahle

President Geoffrey Mearns spoke about Scott Eaton's termination at a press conference April 5. Eaton admitted to having relationships with five women, one of which is a former student, over a span of "at least 10 years."

Claire Higgins, Editor-in-chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Updated: April 5 at 5:25 p.m.

Former Athletic Director Scott Eaton, who was fired March 18, has admitted to “inappropriate, intimate” relationships with four university employees and one former student, according to a letter sent to the Board of Regents, students, faculty and staff from President Geoffrey Mearns.

According to the letter, Eaton supervised two of the women and three are no longer employed by NKU. Mearns did not comment on whether the former employees left the university because of Eaton’s termination or for other reasons, but no other disciplinary action has been taken. The student was in a class that Eaton instructed during their relationship and no longer attends NKU.

In an interview with Mearns, he said Eaton’s conduct spanned “at least 10 years,” but would not provide specifics on the individual relationships.

“Simply put, Mr. Eaton’s pattern of misconduct was inappropriate, it was unacceptable. He violated the trust that we all placed in him in the position of responsibility that he had,” Mearns said in a press conference April 5.

“His conduct and that type of conduct can not be tolerated … it doesn’t reflect the character of this institution, the integrity of this institution.”

The move to do a financial review did not stem from suspicions of financial misuse, but it was the “next prudent step” in the investigation decided by the law firm, according to Mearns.

Eaton did not disclose information about these relationships before the initial investigation into his conduct, which ultimately led to his firing. In the letter, Mearns said Eaton acknowledged “this pattern of misconduct” and that it violates the university’s ethical principles and code of conduct.

For Mearns, this is a serious offense because of Eaton’s “significant responsibility” and he has high expectations for NKU administrators in top positions at the university, which Eaton did not fulfill. His pattern of untruthfulness prior to and during the investigation was a leading factor in Eaton’s termination, Mearns said.

Although Mearns did release this information to the university community, the letter stated that law firm Dinsmore & Shohl will continue to investigate Eaton’s management of the athletic department.

Accounting firm Clark Schaefer Hackett has also been hired to do a financial review of the department to ensure that “we understand the full scope of Dr. Eaton’s management,” Mearns said.

The financial review will take one month, according to the letter, and will determine if “any other corrective actions are necessary.” Mearns said the month timeline is an estimate provided by the law firm.

Mearns confirmed that there are still no NCAA compliance issues, legal or financial issues involved with Eaton’s termination.

The initial investigation into Eaton’s actions began March 8 after Mearns received allegations against the athletic director from outside the university. He was suspended March 12 and officially terminated March 18.

Eaton was appointed athletic director in 2009, and has been an administrator at the university since 1998. In 2007-2008 he served as interim vice president for student affairs.

In his position as athletic director, he helped lead NKU Athletics into Division I and played a major role in launching the $6 million Go Gold campaign.

“We were surprised and terribly disappointed,” Mearns said, who interacted with Eaton often in a professional relationship.

The university also recently hired Wright State University’s former athletic director Michael Cusack as the interim athletic director to serve during the search for a new director. Mearns said the position is set to be filled by the fall semester.

“Our athletics program, though, is strong. With the addition of Mike Cusack, as our interim athletic director, we’re even stronger,” the president said.

 

Copy of the letter Mearns sent to the Board of Regents today:

Follow Up Letter

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

comments

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    Breaking News

    SGA to host immigration town hall, vote on DACA resolution

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    Arts & Life

    22 Blocks of Light: Blink Cincinnati

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    A&L Features

    Ohio Renaissance Festival hosts weekends of combat, craft and fantasy

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    A&L Features

    ‘Now or never’: One woman’s fight to halt MS

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    News

    Snapchatting and driving: a potentially fatal distraction

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    A&L Features

    A map’s worth of Hispanic heritage

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    Arts & Life

    Video | On the Street: Fall break plans

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    Game Coverage

    Norse battle Flames to 0-0 draw

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    Game Coverage

    Three first half goals power NKU past Green Bay

  • Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women

    Game Coverage

    Hamblin’s offensive prowess lifts her into NKU record books

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women