Rumors on the rise, administration stays quiet

Eaton firing leads to speculation across campus

Staff editorial:

With the termination of Athletic Director Scott Eaton, it seems like the games have really begun on NKU’s campus. Students campus-wide have been piecing together news bits, using them as clues and trying to figure out just what ethical misconduct Eaton got into.

With just a letter from President Geoffrey Mearns and a lot of not commenting, students’ imaginations are running wild with ideas, which isn’t beneficial for anyone involved, whoever they may be.

By acting quickly and publicly announcing the decision, Mearns and the university have made a conscious effort to be open, transparent and honest with the community about what happened, but they may have hit a wall. The ongoing investigation into what Eaton did is what’s stopping Mearns, who is the only person from the university allowed to talk on the situation, from revealing details.

He told The Northerner that he received praise from students, faculty and staff on how he handled the situation. He also said that our ideas on not being open enough are “completely unfounded.”

And we disagree. It’s frustrating not only because we’re journalists (we know that information is not easy to get), but because we’re students and want the real story.

As students, it is our right to know at least the basics of what happened to the university’s athletic director, who undoubtedly plays a huge role in student life on campus. We don’t need to know the nitty gritty or even names, but just something to ease students’ minds about what happened.

Without that little bit of information, there is more chance for rumors to spread and grow at a rapid rate — and they have. The rumors are harsh and could quite possibly have an even more negative effect on the people closely involved.

The reasoning behind not revealing any details are definitely understandable. Mearns said he doesn’t want to undermine the independence of the ongoing investigation, so he is keeping it under wraps to preserve that confidentiality.

He also said it was to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. As student journalists, we understand the need to minimize harm, that’s in our Code of Ethics. But after hearing the speculations circulating among students, those rumors, which are often more persistent than the truth, could be even more painful.

To avoid future ramifications of damaged reputations and to keep your word on transparency, open up a little more, let other people besides the president talk if they want to. It may be hectic at first, but it’s time the rumors should be put to rest by the truth.