By Kristen Smith
Dear Campus Community –
As the Director of Athletics, all policies, procedures and practices involved in the operation of the athletic programs fall on my shoulders. Thus, the issues surrounding the football teams recruiting practices are my responsibility. I apologize to the campus community and all those who were offended by the football team’s use of women athletes to conduct the campus tours. As soon as the impact of this practice was brought to our attention, Coach Zorbo immediately made changes to the recruiting visit tours.
As a woman who has spent most of her life and her entire career entrenched in the male dominated world of sport, I have witnessed and experienced many forms of bias and harassment. Any form of bias and/or harassment is not tolerated in the athletic department and is counter to our core values. I regret that I did not see the issues surrounding this recruiting practice sooner. To those who brought this to our attention – thank you. At times it is easier to see things from a different perspective looking at it from the outside than when you are standing right in the middle of it. When things are brought to our attention we have and will continue to address the issue directly and immediately.
I have the utmost respect and admiration for Coach Zorbo. He is a man of great character and integrity and is a great role model. He has made great strides in fostering a positive culture within the football program and has been integral in helping lead the athletic department through many challenges and changes. We will continue to work together to educate ourselves, our colleagues and those we work with to provide an environment that promotes, supports and celebrates a diverse and vibrant college culture.