Steve Cottingham, who was ultimately responsible for the handling of separate sexual assault allegations involving Marquette University student-athletes, has resigned as the school's athletic director.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the athletes were not charged with a crime, but the university was criticized by law enforcement officials for not following proper procedures in investigating the two cases, which occurred within the past nine months. The athletes were disciplined and the coaching staff reprimanded, though the men's sports team involved was never made public.
Cottingham joined Marquette's Office of the General Counsel in 1995, became an associate senior vice president of the Catholic university, then took over for longtime athletic director Bill Cords in January 2007 - first on an interim basis and later permanently. He championed the establishment of men's and women's lacrosse programs, and negotiated deals with men's basketball coach Buzz Williams and with Milwaukee's Bradley Center, the privately owned home of Marquette men's basketball.
"Although recent events involving a few student-athletes have certainly been a disappointment to me, I leave Marquette with positive feelings and confidence in its future," Cottingham stated in his resignation letter.
Mike Broeker has been named Marquette's interim athletic director. Both Broeker and Williams fielded questions following the resignation. Said Williams, "Anytime there is sexual assault or sexual violence or anything of a sensitive nature, I think it's unacceptable as a human. And it's unacceptable as a husband, as a father. I believe it's unacceptable as an employee of Marquette."