Hoppy Kercheval has announced on Twitter that West Virginia University Athletic Director Shane Lyons has resigned under the mounting pressure of the failure of the football team.
West Virginia University Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President Shane Lyons is resigning under pressure from the University. Lyons informed his staff of the decision this morning following a tense meeting Sunday with WVU President E. Gordon Gee.
The move represents a significant change of direction for WVU Athletics as the fate of football coach Neal Brown is also under consideration and as the University adapts to a rapidly-changing athletics landscape. Lyons turned down an offer by Gee to give up the Athletics Director responsibilities, but stay on at Associate Vice President.
Lyons departure comes as fan displeasure and discourse has reached a fever pitch, who have grown increasingly angry at the buyout given to head coach Neal Brown following a bowl win to Army in 2020. Brown was 11-11 when the extension was signed but has gone 10-13 since.
Lyons has been heavily involved in boards and committees outside of the University, including his role as chair of the NCAA Division 1 Football Oversight Committee. Those responsibilities have raised Lyons stature, but there was also a belief among some at WVU that he should have been spending more time in the day-to-day management of WVU athletics rather than delegating responsibilities.
There were also concerns about the administration of the Mountaineer Athletic Club, the fundraising arm of the athletic department. There has been a series of departures of top officials at the MAC, including executive director Ben Murray, who left last year to take a similar position at the University of Nebraska.
The status of Neal Brown will likely be decided by the new athletic director. A national search is expected to be conducted to find the new Athletic Director at West Virginia.