The Council of Presidents, the governing body of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), announced today, the termination of Dr. William E. Lide as Conference Commissioner, which became effective May 31, 2008. The statement was released by the Chairman of the Council, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, who also serves as President of Tuskegee University. According to Dr. Payton, “the Council of Presidents regrets very much the necessity to take this action with respect to Dr. William E. Lide. He has brought new energy and imagination to the Conference and we certainly wish that we could continue this statement on that note. Unfortunately, the recent findings of the SIAC Audit Committee and the results of an external review do not make it possible for our statement to end merely on that theme.”
Dr. Payton, in his capacity as Chair of the SIAC Council of Presidents, has indicated that the above audits, examination and review of operations of the SIAC produced a number of findings which have compelled the Council of Presidents to act, first by suspending Dr. Lide (with pay) on April 15, 2008, and then subsequently voting to terminate Dr. Lide as the external review neared completion.
Among these findings, the central ones had to do with the mishandling of information and resources from the NCAA, the mismanagement of the finances of the Conference, and failure to properly inform the Conference members and leadership of the real financial challenges that had developed in the Conference.
“The Council thanks Dr. Lide for his services,” Dr. Payton stated on behalf of the Council of Presidents, “and expresses best wishes of well-being in his future endeavors.” In the meantime, a current member of the staff, George Mategakis, has been named Interim SIAC Commissioner as of April 16, 2008, and will continue in that capacity until the Council of Presidents decides on a successor. The Executive Committee of the Council will be holding meetings over the next few weeks for the purpose of establishing future directions for the Conference, the search process, and the Agenda for its summer meeting, which will be held in July.
In the meantime, Mr. Mategakis and the SIAC Office staff will continue to manage the affairs and property of the Conference.
Dr. William E. Lide became Commissioner of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2003. Prior to his appointment, Lide served as Athletic Director at the University of Central Arkansas. He received his bachelor’s degree from Johnson C. Smith University in 1973 and a master’s from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1976. He earned his doctorate in physical education and administration from The Ohio State University in 1980.
The Darlington, S.C., native began his career as an assistant football coach and head track coach at Eastville, Va., High School, and after a brief stint as a wide receiver with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, he became an assistant football coach at his alma mater, Johnson C. Smith. He spent two years at Ohio State, one as a graduate assistant under Woody Hayes and another as an academic counselor, while working on his Ph.D, and then returned to Johnson C. Smith as director of athletics, chairman of the department of physical education and tennis coach.
He is a member of the Johnson C. Smith Sports Hall of Fame and a member of the All Pro Countdown Team of the CFL as a former player for the Calgary Stampeders. Dr. Lide has 4 children, Desiree’, Amber, Lindsey, and Kristin.
For additional information please contact the SIAC Conference Office.