Polisky Steps Down as AD

By Kevin Sweeney

After less than two weeks on the job, embattled Northwestern Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Mike Polisky has announced he’s stepping down.

“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,” Polisky said in a statement.

Polisky’s promotion was officially announced May 3 but was met with significant backlash from the Northwestern community given Polisky’s involvement in a pair of lawsuits, including one related to sexual harassment inside Northwestern’s cheerleading program. Northwestern faculty members helped lead a protest Friday against Northwestern’s decision to promote Polisky, who was known as former AD Jim Phillips’ right-hand man in the department.

NU president Morton Schapiro defended Polisky last week in a statement, saying there was  “no information to suggest” Polisky violated any policies. A collection of current and former student-athletes, as well as donors and supporters of the program, wrote a letter to Northwestern’s Board of Trustees defending Polisky Wednesday.

Schapiro named Professor Robert Gundlach the school’s interim AD. Gundlach is Northwestern’s faculty athletics representative.