The Southern University System (SUS) Board of Supervisors approved the appointment of Roman Banks as the director of athletics, University officials announced Friday.

The decision removes the existing interim title for Banks, who held the post in an interim capacity for more than 18 months while also serving as the head coach of the Southern University men’s basketball program.

“I was pleased to recommend Mr. Roman Banks to assume the role of athletic director for Southern University on a full-time, permanent basis,” said Dr. Ray L. Belton, Southern University System President.

“Having served in a dual role as interim athletic director and head men’s basketball coach during a particularly challenging period, Coach Banks provided solid leadership and gained the respect and support of his colleagues, student-athletes, alumni, and stakeholders. His appointment will ensure a seamless transition to continue moving the department in a positive direction.”

During his two-year tenure as interim athletics director, Banks spearheaded the University’s broad-based efforts to address numerous compliance and academic progress rate (APR) shortcomings with the NCAA. As result, Southern learned the 2013-14 student-athlete data submitted to the NCAA has been deemed accurate and serves as the department’s starting point for the calculation of future multi-year APR scores ending the NCAA-imposed postseason ban.

Among of his administrative achievements, Banks has cultivated a working relationship with the external units within the Southern University campus to ensure the department remains NCAA compliant. He also has increased the academic resources afforded the student-athletes by hiring additional compliance and academic support personnel.

While serving in dual roles, Banks guided Southern through NCAA mandated postseason bans and successfully implemented the recovery of vital compliance data used in APR calculations.

“I am extremely grateful to the SU Board of Supervisors and Dr. Ray Belton for granting this tremendous opportunity to continue progressing the SU athletics department forward,” said Roman Banks. “The time has come to elevate the Southern Jaguar athletic brand and establish a new standard of excellence while maintaining the recent work we accomplished as a certified and a compliant NCAA Division I member institution.”

As Banks assumes his new role as athletics director full-time, the SUS Board also approved the appointment of associate head coach Morris Scott to interim head men’s basketball coach.

“We are confident that associate head men’s basketball coach Morris Scott, who was appointed interim head coach, will continue guiding the team and players in a manner consistent with its record of success and growth,” Belton said.

Scott, a former basketball player and graduate of Florida A&M University, has served as an assistant for six seasons under Banks. Scott’s leadership and basketball acumen helped the program win two SWAC Tournament championships and make two NCAA Tournament appearance. Scott also played an instrumental role in Southern claiming the 2013 SWAC regular season title, the program’s first since 2006.

“Morris Scott has been a key figure in our bid to return the men’s basketball program to prominence since my arrival at Southern in 2011,” Banks said. “His knowledge of the history and tradition associated with Southern Basketball is unparalleled and he has relentlessly pursued those student-athletes who embodied the traits we valued as a staff in producing a winning culture.”

Both positions are schedule to begin April 1.

Courtesy: SU Athletics


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