The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada

the team. Ac­cord­ing to an ESPN re­port, Jenk­ins told play­ers that they were risk­ing ar­rest for tak­ing the text mes­sages from a team­mate’s phone that proved an in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­la­tion­ship and or­dered them to delete the mes­sages.

In June, Jenk­ins was let go by new Auburn ath­letic di­rec­tor Allen Greene along with five other se­nior ath­let­ics ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials in a re­struc­tur­ing of the depart­ment. Greene was hired in Jan­uary, two months after Jay Ja­cobs an­nounced that he would be step­ping down.

While at Auburn, Jenk­ins was a mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive lead­er­ship team and led strate­gic plan­ning and man­age­ment in the depart­ment in­clud­ing over­sight of a $140 mil­lion bud­get. She twice was chair of the NCAA Soc­cer Com­mit­tee and in 2010 re­ceived the Auburn Univer­sity Women of Dis­tinc­tion Award.

“Mered­ith is well-re­spected in Auburn Ath­let­ics for her 24 years of valu­able, ded­i­cated ser­vice to the depart­ment and univer­sity and, most im­por­tantly, our stu­den­tath­letes,” Greene said via email.

Tumey said, “We’re for­tu­nate enough to have a very qual­ity in­di­vid­ual join­ing our ath­let­ics depart­ment and to help de­velop our stu­dents.

“I feel Mered­ith will be a great con­trib­u­tor to the ex­pe­ri­ence that our stu­dents will have here at Fresno State. I’ll also say for me, with the rec­om­men­da­tions that she has re­ceived from Auburn and the un­der­stand­ing of her mer­its and her con­tri­bu­tions to the univer­sity, we feel very con­fi­dent and very happy that she is join­ing us.”

An in­terim ap­point­ment ex­tends up to one year, and Fresno State would have to ini­ti­ate a for­mal hir­ing process to make the hire per­ma­nent. Jenk­ins at Fresno State will have over­sight of all in­ter­nal op­er­a­tions of the ath­letic depart­ment. She also will co­or­di­nate univer­sity gov­er­nance within the depart­ment.

“All in­ter­nal as­pects of our oper­a­tion will be led by Mered­ith,” Tumey said.

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]­nobee.com

Terry Tumey laughs as he ad­dresses the crowd after he was in­tro­duced as Fresno State’s new ath­let­ics di­rec­tor dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in June.

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