The University of Wyoming is exploring ways to replace the $2 million pledge toward a High Altitude Performance Center that the school rejected in December, roughly a month after the donor was convicted of third-degree sexual assault.

According to the Laramie Boomerang, Tony Cercy, a Casper businessman, sought to account for $2 million of the facility's $44.5 million price tag. The High Altitude Performance Center is an add on to the Rochelle Athletics Center that opened in August.

UW trustees voted in a special meeting to cancel the donation in what board chair Dave True described as "a challenging decision." 

The challenge now is to come up with alternative sources for those cancelled funds. Trustees are likely to tap their construction reserve account for $1.2 million, and that money will subsequently be replaced by $2 million in planned joint fundraising by the UW athletic department and the UW Foundation. The full amount of Cercy's pledge wasn't expected to be received until 2020, though $800,000 had already been transferred to the foundation with another $400,000 pending.

UW spokesperson Chad Baldwin told the Boomerang that the foundation typically collects donations, and then as general contractors draw money from UW, the university draws money from the Foundation.

Cercy was convicted for performing oral sex on an unconscious 20-year-old woman at his home in 2017.

Paul Steinbach is Senior Editor of Athletic Business.