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North Idaho athletic director Al Williams retires following administrative leave

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 10, 2019

North Idaho College athletic director Al Williams will retire this month, the school announced Monday, four weeks after the NIC men’s basketball program was hit with a series of sanctions by the Northwest Athletic Conference for extra student-athlete benefits and administrative oversight.

Williams and men’s basketball coach Corey Symons were recently placed on administrative leave, according to multiple sources close to the school who wish to remain anonymous. Symons has since returned to his coaching duties.

Graydon Stanley, NIC vice president of student services, will serve as the school’s interim athletic director until a replacement is hired.

Willams, 60, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

The NWAC vacated the NIC men’s basketball team’s 2018 and 2019 NWAC Tournament championships, banned the Cardinals from postseason play for three years and issued the NIC athletic department a $30,000 fine.

The team was also hit with a reduction in student-athlete grants and aid for three years. Symons was suspended for the first 10 games of the upcoming season.

According to the NWAC, NIC used booster club funds to pay for student-athlete housing in the summers of 2017 and 2018, a violation of conference bylaws. It also violated the league compliance laws in regard to basketball camps.

NWAC members are only allowed to give up to 65% in tuition scholarships and cannot give outside aid for room and board, per the league’s codebook.

Williams was also involved in the controversial firing of highly successful NIC wrestling coach Pat Whitcomb earlier this year. Whitcomb filed a tort claim in June seeking damages, claiming to have suffered from “a series of allegations of wrongful, corrupt and unlawful conduct.”

Williams played basketball at NIC and Idaho in the late 1970s, becoming the school’s athletic director in 2003. He was previously an assistant athletic director and assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Denver.

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