The Western Athletic Conference's board of directors has overturned the removal of New Mexico athletic director Rudy Davalos and Lobos baseball coach Rich Alday from their NCAA committee positions.
The ruling Thursday came in response to an appeal UNM had filed after the decision was announced last month that Davalos, Alday and others from the eight schools leaving the WAC were being removed by the conference from NCAA committee posts."We've always understood that our representation was based on our individual abilities and not on our affiliation with any individual school or conference," Davalos said Thursday. "The WAC presidents weren't properly informed. Once they had time to study the situation, they made the right decision."
Davalos serves on the NCAA's men's basketball committee; Alday on the baseball committee. Committee members aren't paid, but they do select teams and locations for championship games in their respective sports.
The move to remove Davalos, Alday and the others stemmed from the ongoing dissolution of the 16-school WAC. New Mexico is among eight schools that will be leaving to form their own conference in 1999-2000.
Southern Methodist president Gerald Turner, president of the WAC board of directors, said on Aug. 27 that a resolution drafted by the board gave the conference the authority to remove NCAA committee members from the departing eight schools. The resolution was signed off on by the presidents of the departing schools.
Turner said it was feared that NCAA committee members from schools leaving the WAC might not act in the WAC's best interests within their committees.
Davalos and Alday, however, contended their NCAA committee memberships had nothing to do with school or conference affiliation, and NCAA officials supported that position.
Davalos and Alday also had said they would take the matter to court, but Thursday's decision on the appeal filed on their behalf with the WAC by UNM will make it unnecessary for them to take any legal action.
"The board of directors reviewed the appeals based on the information submitted by UNM and believed it was in the best interest of all parties that Rudy Davalos and Rich Alday retain their committee positions," Karl Benson, WAC commissioner, said Thursday.
The board also upheld appeals from five other NCAA committee members from the departing eight schools. Three members of NCAA governance cabinets did not file appeals and will resign as called for by the WAC resolution.