On June 14, UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson sent a memo regarding the Trojan baseball program to UA System President Donald Bobbitt, the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas System, and the Board of Visitors of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
The memo is as follows:
Serious allegations have been made regarding the UALR baseball program. I want you to know what they are and how I plan to proceed with them. I will also release this communication to the media.
At the end of this memorandum you will find a link to a string of emails directed to persons both on and off campus by one Don Hudson, along with other documents. We do not know whether Don Hudson is the name of a person or an alias. In any event, this person has made numerous serious allegations of misconduct on the part of university personnel.
–Physical assaults on players
–Coaches drinking with players
–Violations of NCAA regulations
Upon receiving an email from Mr. Hudson on June 6, 2014, in which he attached one audio recording and said that he had 47 more audio and video recordings, I requested that he provide copies of these items to the university. UALR Athletics Compliance Officer Richard Turner has also asked that he provide the information he said that he possesses. To date he has not done so nor has he accepted an invitation to meet with university personnel.
In any event, the allegations are serious and have been taken seriously.
Mr. Hudson has also made multiple demands that the university take specified actions within 24 hours or he would release the recordings he referenced. Here are two recent examples:
–“As always, I will give a time line. You have 24 hours to make a public announcement. Next time, I will release video and audio. Mr. Peterson you can trust me when I say you don’t want this in the media. All you have to do is admit to your wrong doings of your athletic department publicly. Confession might cleanse your soul, but I doubt it.” (Hudson to Peterson, June 12, 2014)
–“Just so you know we have only just begun Mr. Turner. You either start playing by my rules on my time or you and the rest of your athletic department need to start planning for retirement. We have not even touched on the academic fraud side of your athletic department. Have a Great Weekend!!!!” (Hudson to Turner, June 13, 2014)
Under normal circumstances, the campus would undertake an internal investigation, develop findings, take any corrective actions required, and report it all to the Sun Belt Conference and the NCAA for their review. However, in this case, the allegations need to be reviewed and evaluated by a qualified, independent investigator outside of the university, given the variety of allegations and the number of people who have been named as wrongdoers. Therefore:
(1) As noted above I am releasing the string of emails with their allegations, along with other documents. An effort has been made to redact the names of student athletes per Federal student privacy law—although those names would be visible to the persons off campus whom Mr. Hudson indicates he has copied on his messages to campus officials. Let me add that if there is a message missing from the string, its omission is inadvertent and, if made aware, I will share it.
(2) I have asked UA General Counsel Fred Harrison to retain the services of an appropriate professional to review and investigate the allegations, and he has agreed to do so. I will direct all campus personnel to cooperate with that investigator and provide any and all requested information. I also invite Mr. Don Hudson and anyone else who has relevant information to meet with and provide the information to the investigator.
I can assure you that we will proceed deliberately and thoroughly, but not under threat of 24-hour deadlines. To do otherwise risks unnecessary harm to persons who do not deserve it. At the same time, I want to know all the facts and will in due time act appropriately on the findings and do whatever is necessary to rectify the situation.
My goal is to get to the bottom of these issues so that we can return our attention to a baseball program that concentrates on the student athletes’ academic and athletic development.