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Sources: UMass athletic director candidates include Jim Fiore, controversial ex-Stony Brook AD



Last modified: Thursday, April 16, 2015
UMass is expected to bring four athletic director candidates to campus beginning Friday, including one who figures to be controversial. Multiple sources familiar with the search confirmed that former Stony Brook athletic director Jim Fiore, who was fired in 2013 amid controversy, is one of the finalists.

Georgia Tech senior associate athletic director Ryan Bamford and Buffalo associate athletic director Allan Greene are also finalists. The fourth remains unknown.

Before he was fired, Fiore’s performance at Stony Brook was a model other small schools wanted to emulate. During his 10-year tenure the school raised money, improved facilities and won conference titles in several sports.

But in 2013 he was suddenly dismissed with 31 months left on his contract and paid approximately $800,000 buyout, according to the New York Daily News.

Shortly after his dismissal, espnW, the section of ESPN’s website devoted to women’s sports, produced a story citing anonymous sources alleging that Fiore was involved in “sexual harassment and retaliation, misappropriation of university resources, and that he interrogated people about their sexuality. According to the documents, which have been received by the Attorney General of New York and the State Inspector General (Stony Brook is part of the State University of New York system), Fiore asked female coaches directly if they were homosexual. Sources also said Fiore asked female student-athletes about their sexual orientation and behaved inappropriately with them.”

Fiore issued a statement disputing the allegations in the espnW story.

“The espnW story by Kate Fagan is absolutely outrageous and rife with falsehoods. It is blatantly defamatory and my legal representatives have issued a cease and desist letter to espnW and any media outlet that has sourced or reprinted this article. The anonymous, ‘kitchen sink’ allegations that have been made against me are absolutely false. I cannot help but think that the motives of the unnamed ‘sources’ serve no purpose other than someone’s obvious financial gain and to hurt me personally and professionally. I will vigorously fight these bogus claims and defend my reputation.”

Stony Brook never provided a reason for Fiore’s dismissal. Its response to the espnW story was part of a New York Daily News story on Nov. 28, 2013 that includes the following passage:

“Stony Brook issued a statement in response to the allegations in the story saying it ‘takes all claims of discrimination and sexual harassment seriously’ but that because the claims ‘do not identify the sources of those allegations or the documents relied upon, the University and the public cannot reliably assess (their) truthfulness.’ It adds this: ‘What we can tell you is that the University received a single complaint concerning the athletic department from one university employee. We took this complaint very seriously and acted promptly to understand and respond to the issues raised.’ It refers to a 2012 sexual harassment complaint against Fiore that was investigated by the school and the State Department of Labor. These resulted in neither charges nor discipline.”

Fiore, who is the president and CEO of Dynamic Sports Management, a sporting event and marketing company on Long Island, New York, could not be reached for comment.

The other two candidates aren’t likely to be controversial.

Greene, who had previously worked at Ole Miss and Notre Dame, his alma mater, is a former minor league baseball player in the New York Yankees system. According to the Buffalo website, Greene is “responsible for the day-to-day operations of UB Athletics overseeing business operations, human resources, facilities, capital projects, Recreation and Intramurals and sport oversight of football and men’s and women’s basketball.”

Bamford, a former basketball player at Ithaca, grew up in New Hampshire and worked at Yale before going to Georgia Tech. He oversees football, men’s basketball and baseball at the Atlanta school, where he was worked since 2011 according to Georgia Tech’s website.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage