Bill Redell has resigned as assistant to the president at Cal Lutheran, a school official said Tuesday. His resignation came one month after contents of a report written and submitted to school President Jerry H. Miller by Redell calling for the school to relax academic requirements for scholarship athletes were published by The Times.
Jim Buchheim, CLU sports information director, said the proposals irritated faculty members, but he stopped short of saying the report caused Redell's departure.
"I know his releasing of the proposals didn't make him popular here," Buchheim said. "The discussion of lowering academic standards didn't go over very well on campus with the faculty. It was not a popular issue."
In an apparent effort to quell grumblings by the faculty, Miller sent a schoolwide memorandum Sept. 24--the day after the report was published--stating that the administration would not lower scholarship requirements for athletes.
Cal Lutheran administrators, however, released a statement that Redell left CLU to devote more time to his coaching position with the Crespi High football team.
"That was the party line, that I resigned because of time conflicts," Redell said Tuesday. "I don't want to get into name calling with Cal Lutheran. I did resign. It became hard to survive in that environment."
Miller, who was unavailable for comment, was quoted in the official statement: "I'm grateful for the dedication that Bill has shown to the university over many years. He will continue to be a friend and helpful adviser for us."
Redell was hired by CLU in January as the director of athletic development. In June, Miller named Redell assistant to the president for university relations. He worked as an assistant football coach at the school from 1980-81.
A source familiar with the situation said Redell's proposals regarding admission requirements, and the subsequent friction they caused, played a role in the resignation, effective Feb. 29.
"I never suggested just lowering academic standards," Redell said. "I said you need to take a look at your academic requirements for athletic scholarships and reduce those to what it takes any normal student to get into Cal Lutheran.
"When you have low recruiting dollars and want to compete at the Division II level, you need to consider this. I'm all for high academic standards."
After four months of research, Redell submitted his proposals to Miller. The report called for an increase in football scholarships to 35 from the present number of 20-25 and an increase in basketball scholarships from three to seven. Redell also proposed a greater emphasis on athletic department fund-raising.
In September, Redell talked openly about the proposals, but he did not publicly mention the recommendation to lower academic standards. Bob Doering, CLU athletic director, revealed that proposal.
Doering said that Redell "recommended that we lower our standards, then gradually build up to where we are now. But we've been operating the way we are for three or four years."
Over that same period, though, CLU has struggled in the Western Football Conference, winning only two conference games in three seasons.
In discussing Redell's recommendations, CLU Coach Bob Shoup said: "There's no way you can compete in any conference with the lowest financial support and the highest academic standards."
Staff writer John Lynch contributed to this story.