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whe it rains, it SNOWS in Alaska

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  • whe it rains, it SNOWS in Alaska

    Front page news from Fairbanks Daily News Miner

    The NCAA is currently investigating the athletic department at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and a member of the athletic department has been placed on administrative leave, a school spokesperson confirmed. However, the school could not confirm any information as to what the investigation pertains to specifically.

    "We are working closely with the NCAA right now to investigate some potential violations," UAF spokesperson Marmian Grimes said. "Because we are still gathering information about the subject, I can't share any details about the investigation as those things are confidential."

    Grimes confirmed to the News-Miner that an individual within the athletic department has been placed on administrative leave but was unable to confirm or deny whether that was connected to the investigation.

    "There is an individual that is currently on administrative leave," Grimes said. "His current position is associate athletic director for facilities and events. I do understand that he was doing some compliance work ... I can't get into any details of personnel matters but it is important to know that administrative leave is not a disciplinary action. I want to make sure that's really clear."

    When asked if the associate athletic director's administrative leave was related to the investigation, Grimes said, "Because it's a confidential personnel matter, I can't share any details."

    According to the UAF Athletics website, Kayne Gutierrez currently holds the title of associate athletic director for facilities and events. When asked, Grimes confirmed that Gutierrez was the individual who has been placed on leave.

    No further information on the investigation or Gutierrez's leave is available at this time.

    The UAF athletic department has been in flux over the past few months. UAF School of Management faculty member Peggy Keiper was named interim athletic director on Jan. 7, succeeding Keith Champagne, who had been serving dual roles as the vice chancellor for student affairs and AD for the previous 18 months. On March 5, however, Keiper informed the school that she was stepping down from the interim AD role due to health issues.

    " ... I have decided to step down as interim AD and revert back to faculty," Keiper said in an email to the school. "It was a hard decision for me to make as I've truly enjoyed working with all of you and see how hard you work on a daily basis. However, health was the deciding factor for me. I will definitely remain engaged with athletics, but from an external perspective in my faculty role within the School of Management."

    The same day as Keiper's email went out, UAF Chancellor Dan White announced that UA Chief Human Resources Officer Steve Patin would be named the new interim athletic director with hopes of naming a full-time member to the position some time in June.

    Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him on at ***********/Hpisani91.