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Athletic Department Restructuring Follows Forfeiture Of Tournament Game

March 13, 1996

EL PASO, Texas (AP) _ Fallout from Texas-El Paso’s forfeit of a first-round Western Athletic Conference tournament victory has drifted into the university’s athletic department.

Maxine Neill-Johnson, associate athletic director and UTEP’s compliance officer, has been reassigned to still-undefined duties, athletic director John Thompson said Wednesday.

Athletic business manager Hank Humphreys will assume some of Neill-Johnson’s past duties.

Until Neill-Johnson is replaced, some of her compliance work will be shared by others in the athletic department and UTEP administration, Thompson said.

A larger academic counseling and NCAA compliance staff also can be expected, he said.

Compliance staffers help ensure that college athletes comply with NCAA guidelines on entrance exams, grade-point averages, graduation schedules and other academic matters.

Recently, UTEP has run afoul of compliance guidelines, with the most serious incident involving senior basketball forward Kevin Beal.

A miscalculation by university officials of Beal’s credit hours forced Thompson to disqualify the player after he had played in UTEP’s first-round victory over Hawaii in last week’s WAC tournament.

As a result, UTEP had to forfeit the game and go home early.

The incident was only the latest in a string of academic slipups. Several other athletes also have been ruled ineligible because of miscalculated credit hours.

In an unrelated move, the university also confirmed that assistant men’s basketball coach Gary Brewster resigned Tuesday after missing the Miners’ final three games because of an illness in the family.

Thompson said Brewster wanted to pursue a head coaching job, most likely at a high school.

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