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UPDATED: UNCW Athletics Director resigns; Not related to "rolling" incident says Chancellor

READ MORE: UPDATED: UNCW Athletics Director resigns; Not related to "rolling" incident says Chancellor
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- UNCW is looking for a new athletics director for the third time in five years. This morning Kelly Mehrtens called it quits.

"I'm here today to announce that I'm resigning as Athletics Director at UNCW to pursue other professional opportunities," Mehrtens said at a news conference.

After a series of incidents that garnered negative attention, Mehrtens is out as athletics director. The firing of basketball coach Benny Moss in January and the delay in finding his replacement brought much criticism, but it wasn't just the demise of the men's basketball team. The latest attention grabber was an incident last week involving a women's basketball player, who was forced log roll up and down the court as punishment. Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo said Mehrtens's decision to step down today was unrelated.

"These two things are not linked, except by the coincidence of time," DePaolo said.

DePaolo explained Seahawk Nation is at a crossroads.

"We either can keep our athletics programs as they are, or we can make our athletics programs soar, as we have done with so many of our other programs at this university," she said.

It's not the first time DePaolo has found herself at this intersection. Since coming to UNCW in 2003, she's been through three ADs. In the summer of 2007 DePaolo hired Mehrtens.

During Mehrtens's tenure at UNCW, student athletes have collected many academic awards, but to her dismay, those accolades are often overlooked.

"Unfortunately, all too frequently, it seems too much attention is focussed on other things other than the accomplishments and achievements of our student athletes and coaches," Mehrtens said. "That attention has become a distraction, not only to our athletic programs but to our university as a whole."

Also hurting Mehrtens's record, a drastic drop off in donations to the Seahawk Club.

The timing of her resignation is tough. Midnight Madness, which marks the start of basketball season is just a couple weeks away.

While no successor has been named, the goal will be to have at least an interim AD when UNCW's marquee sport tips off.

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The idea that the two

The idea that the two incidents were completely unrelated is nonsense. That being said, I have no doubt that there was more than just the rolling scandal that led to her resignation. I may not agree with the Chancellor on every issue, but her primary responsibility is to increase UNCW's academic standing. That is not to say that athletics aren't important, but I have no problem if she delegates oversight of the athletic department to another hierarch.

Fire all the Women Bball Coaches & start over

I'm glad Mehrtens left. I bet the chancellor was feeling pressure to fire her anyway. The athletic program was and is going in the wrong direction. Now the incident with the log rolling. I'm sure that type of punishment was implemented,designed and approved by the head coach. They did that to the girl to run her off and discourage her to quit. The coaches "discouraged" other players this summer who didn't fit into their "up tempo" style of game and they left before classes started. "Up tempo" you mean turnover city. Plus Coach Coop was under recruiting violations before she came to UNCW. Maybe she was a good womens player, but obviously she brings alot of moral baggage to the program, but of course the past AD hired her anyway. When is Coach Coop and her assistant going to step down or are they going to keep "rolling along".

Jerry Wainwright is back in

Jerry Wainwright is back in the area and available. UNCW should have not parted with him to begin with. AD Wainwright has a nice ring to it. UNCW has never recovered since he left - time to admit the mistake and bring him back!

Wainwright

Wainwright's the one that deserted UNCW.Why should they bring him back?

I stand corrected

You are absolutely correct ! It is impossible to fall when you have always been at the bottom. What glimmers of hope did appear where quickly extinguished by Rosie. I have not attended a UNCW athletic event since Brad Brownell.My son and I travel enjoy collegiate athletics and we have to drive two hours North to see programs that are fully committed to success (UNC , NCSU and ECU ).

halfway there...

Mehrtens = Lee Fowler = mediocracy

DePaolo = Oblinger = clueless

Really glad to see UNCW making positive moves like NC State has. I hope DePaolo is next.

Debbie Yow was an excellent move for NCSU. Here's to the seahawks picking up a quality AD.

KEEP THE PODIUM OUT FOR ROSIE !

Now it is your turn Rosie. You share an ample amount of blame for the fall of UNCW athletics. Resign , Rosie. You have been there for the duration of UNCW's demise. You are admired by your liberal peers but in the world of college athletics , you are a joke ! I do not believe Mehrten's resignation was voluntary even though she was incompetent and ill-prepared for the job. Time to step to the podium as well to announce your departure and start anew !

Joke?

Who's the joke,someone who thinks athletics at a college that never really took them that serious are more important then someone who thinks academics are more important? Most people in Wilmington don't care about UNCW sports.You talk about the fall of UNCW athletics,all I can is wasn't much of a fall.

Joke????

Aside from the hiring of this most recent AD, the only other joke is your inability to draft a complete sentence. That fact is, this community was very involved with and supported UNCW athletics prior to the DePalo political correctness agenda. Let's hire a qualified back fill now that we have checked the PC box.

You are the joke. Anyone

You are the joke. Anyone who has followed college sports know that UNCW was once considered a very respected mid-major school before those two took over. Until the last few years it was not uncommon to see Trask sold out for many games.

Finally, Wonder how much the

Finally,

Wonder how much the lawsuit for the latest womens basketball incident is going to cost UNCW? Is this why tuition keeps going up because of all the money Rosie and Kelly cost the school with all of the "bonehead" decisions they made.

UNC-Who ?

Pathetic Division I bottom dweller with a bunch of CLOWNS at the helm !

Distractions?

Reassigning Benny Moss and his salary mid-season?

Not having a replacement for Coach Moss in place at the time of his reassignment.

Taking forever to recruit a replacement for Coach Moss and along the way helping the careers of several prospects who chose not to come to Wilmington.

Hiring Buzz at a salary he probably never expected to make until he goes to Chapel Hill.

Log Rolling a player with a bad leg. At first, I thought maybe they were bringing a forestry curriculum to campus.

More than a few strikes on the record.

probably get rid of the

probably get rid of the assistant coach as a sacrificial lamb. Makes no difference, if the basketball program doesn't improve this season Trask Coliseum will look like the new Convention Center downtown---empty. Don't you just love the people in charge? Hey, Rosemary, where's my raise--- I want one like Buzz got.

I agree, especially with

I agree, especially with another hike in ticket prices!

The women's team will

The women's team will definitely improve this year, I can guarantee they will be in the top half of the conference. Ann had a lot of talent last year and didn't know what to do with it. She had her big girls playing outside the paint and shooting jumpers, when they should've been inside banging the boards and making stong post moves. Had Ann listen to her assisant coaches more during the games, she would've been more succesfull.

Can You say

Good Bye Ms. Mehrtens & don't let the door smack you in the rear as you exit.

Reported she has resigned to pursue other career opportunities.

Guess between the Benny Moss debacle with his buy-out; the Buzz Peteson recruitment dance with all of those other interested parties who never panned out; and now the log rolling incident. Could be 3 strikes and you are out. Or perhaps the Chancellor realized she might be in jeopardy for failing to take decisive action.

Wonder what this buy-out will cost? She's making $170,000 per year with a contract through sometime in 2011.

Good riddance !

One half of the equation to me opening my pocket book back open is gone ! Now it is your turn Rosie.

good riddance

I thought universities were established for learning...not athletics.So much to do about nothing.
Who cares if they close the entire athletics dept.?