LITTLE ROCK, AR - The day after his resignation, University of Arkansas at Little Rock's (UALR) Athletic Director admits to "insensitive remarks" about a student athlete's mother.
The comments were picked up by an open microphone during a live broadcast of a Trojan Soccer game.
In his statement, Athletic Director (AD) Chris Peterson says his comments were picked up unknowingly, making what would have been a private conversation public.
One of the voice's heard, according to a UALR spokesperson, is that of AD Chris Peterson.
"Remember her mom was here a few years ago?" Peterson could be heard asking one of the other men in the audio.
According to the spokesperson, the people in the audio included three members of the Athletic Department.
They mention the female soccer player's name but, for her privacy, we've chosen not to reveal it.
On the field that day, August 22, the Trojans took on Chicago State.
In the booth, during a live streaming of the game for online subscribers to the Trojans website, the conversation between Peterson and the other Athletic Department members passed back and forth from the game to the soccer player's mother.
The first question quoted above sparked the following comments by Peterson.
"Remember her, Pete?"
"She had her **** hanging out too remember that? ... We gotta make sure we know when parents day is. I wanna make sure I'm in town for the weekend."
"She had two of them and they were out there for display."
When one of the other men mentioned speaking with the player's dad, Peterson responded with, "Well we're just gonna have mom's day this year."
The entire conversation was captured by an hot mic for all to hear, unbeknownst to all in the booth while they were seemingly under the impression no one else was listening.
Wednesday (9/3) a PR firm released a statement from Peterson:
"I made insensitive remarks while visiting with some athletic department employees at a soccer game. My comments were picked up by an open microphone, unknowingly, making a private conversation public. I have apologized to the parties that may have been offended by my remarks and fully acknowledge my words were insensitive and out of line. I've learned a hard lesson. As I close this chapter, I know going forward that I'll be more thoughtful, sensitive and conscientious of my actions. What my future holds I cannot say, but I'm upbeat, optimistic and ready for the next chapter."
Peterson's letter of resignation was given to Chancellor Joel Anderson Tuesday. Anderson released a statement Wednesday:
"Yesterday I received and accepted the resignation of Chris Peterson, UALR’s Director of Athletics. In addition to complying with FOIA requests for information regarding his resignation, there have been several requests for an official statement.
What one hears from the Director of Athletics on the live video transmission of the women's soccer game on August 22 is unacceptable for a person in a University leadership position. Director Peterson apologized for it and resigned. I am grateful for his contributions to the University and to the UALR Department of Athletics, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.
I do not expect to comment further on this personnel matter.
Today I began consultation regarding an appropriate choice for Interim Athletic Director and will begin meetings tomorrow with coaches and other Athletics Department personnel. Later this month we will announce plans for our search for a new Director.
The student-athletes, the coaches, the fans, and all of us here at UALR are looking forward to a year of exciting competitions in the Sun Belt Conference and to the next chapter in Trojan Athletics."
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