After a two-month suspension, Athletic Director Dave Williams was reinstated this summer on July 1. The two-month suspension period was issued when Williams was arrested for driving under the influence on May 8.
Robert Vartabedian, President of Missouri Western, investigated the situation thoroughly before reinstating Williams.
“I was convinced that it was in the University’s best interest to reinstate him with some pretty strict guidelines,” Vartabedian said, “I think he understands, I think he gets it and I’m hopeful we can move in a positive direction in the future.”
Currently, Williams contract only lasts until the end of 2010. Vartabedian said that this contract was established to assure that Williams continues to move in the right direction.
“I wanted to send a message to [Williams] and others that this is a very serious matter,” Vartabedian said. “We believe he deserves a second chance, but I wanted to reserve the right to reassess things after six months.”
Dan Nicoson, current Vice President of University Advancement, served as interim Athletic Director During Williams reinstatement.
“I enjoyed it to a great extent,” Nicoson said commenting in his period as interim, “It took me back to my background. My first college job was in athletics, so from that standpoint it reunited me with some old interests.”
Not everyone agrees that Williams should have been reinstated. Alum and former student athlete Cody Tipton believes that Williams should no longer be able to serve in his position.
“No one is going to take the guy seriously,” Tipton said. “How can he discipline students on DUIs when he just got one?”
Currently, the same policy is applied to student athletes. If they receive a first time DUI, they must complete hours of community service and a time of suspension.
Williams believes that he learned something from the incident, not just personally, but also how he disciplines students in the future, but understands that he may have lost some creditability.
“Hopefully one incident isn’t going to ruin creditability either on campus, with boosters or with student athletes,” Williams said, “I’m working everyday to make sure that I have creditability earned back.”
Williams new perspective on student discipline includes empathy, something he believes that he couldn’t do before last Spring.
“I’ll know exactly what they’re going through now,” Williams said. “I don’t know what I’ll say to them before, like I said before every discipline situation is different but I’ll be better about giving them advice. Discipline is not about punishment, discipline is about behavioral change.”
Vartabedian remains hopeful that Williams has changed his behavior and
“I don’t necessarily think that mistakes should be capital crimes that should destroy your career, I think people make mistakes,” Vartabedian said.
At the end of December Vartabedian will evaluate Williams and determine if a full one-year contract can be signed.