St. Bonaventure AD resigns after NIT controversy

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 23 Mar, 2024 at 06:30 PM

Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

St. Bonaventure athletic director Joe Manhertz resigned in the wake of a controversial decision to spurn a selection to the men's basketball NIT.

Manhertz, who was hired in August 2021, submitted his resignation to school president Dr. Jeff Gingerich on Friday night.

"I want to thank Joe for the contributions he's made to the athletics department the last three years," Gingerich said in a statement released Saturday that gave no indication to the reason for the resignation. "Joe made a number of excellent coaching hires and was instrumental in helping to launch the athletics pillar of our Bolder Bonaventure fundraising campaign. We wish him the very best in his career."

The university's statement said a decision on naming an interim athletic director will happen "early next week" and the search for a permanent replacement will begin in April.

St. Bonaventure finished 20-13 this season, including 9-9 in the Atlantic 10.

ESPN reported Tuesday that the Bonnies had turned down an NIT bid after losing in the A10 tournament semifinals. However, the next day Manhertz issued a statement saying St. Bonaventure had preemptively opted out from postseason tournament consideration, citing issues such as travel logistics, injuries and uncertainty with the transfer portal.

Manhertz said the decision was made by athletic department officials and the coaching staff, but without informing the players.

The resulting backlash from St. Bonaventure fans surprised Manhertz, he told the student newspaper.

"What I learned is that (the NIT) means a lot more to the Bonaventure alumni than it does to the Bonaventure players," he told The Bona Venture on Thursday.

Manhertz previously worked in the athletic departments at Duke, Ohio State, Hamilton College and Syracuse.

--Field Level Media