Northwestern athletic director Mike Polisky resigns from position after facing public pressure
Northwestern is once again looking for an athletic director.
Mike Polisky resigned from his post on Wednesday night, less than 10 days after being hired. Polisky was promoted from within after spending the last decade at Northwestern.
Polisky’s hiring was immediately controversial on campus at Northwestern. According to the Chicago Tribune, Polisky is listed as a defendant in a lawsuit from a former Northwestern cheerleader that alleges sexual exploitation and harassment.
“Today, I informed President Schapiro of my decision to step down as Northwestern’s Director of Athletics and leave Northwestern University,” Polisky said in a statement. “Over the last 10 days, it has become clear to me that the current challenges will not allow me to effectively lead our department, especially during these unsettling times in college athletics. My love and respect for Northwestern and for our student-athletes, coaches and staff, is greater than my own desire to lead the department. I do not want to be a distraction to our incredible men and women as they pursue a collective goal – to help our student-athletes become the best they can be. While my family and I are disappointed, I move forward knowing this is the right decision.
“I am grateful to President Schapiro for the opportunity to serve and I wish Northwestern the very best in the future. I will always cheer on the Wildcats!”
Northwestern is attempting to replace Jim Phillips, who left the Wildcats’ AD position to become ACC commissioner back in December of 2020.
Linguistics professor Robert Gundlach is Northwestern’s interim AD, according to a release.
“In the coming months, I will share information on the process for selecting our next athletic director,” Northwestern president Morton Schapiro said.