Paul Dee, the University of Miami’s director of athletics for 15 years and a former chair of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, died Saturday night at age 65. A UM source, according to The Palm Beach Post, “said Mr. Dee passed away after surgery following a recurrence of tongue cancer”. Dee was named the UM director of athletics in June 1993, after serving as the university’s general counsel for 12 years. The Palm Beach Post notes:
His first order of business was to clean up a football program muddied by an NCAA investigation that led to harsh penalties and resulted in a famous 1995 Sports Illustrated cover story urging the school to drop football. In 2001, the Hurricanes won their fifth national championship and the program’s outlaw image began fading into the past. Aside from resurrecting UM football, Mr. Dee spearheaded the construction of an on-campus basketball arena as well as the building of Cobb Stadium, which serves as the school’s home for its soccer and track programs. Mr. Dee also oversaw UM’s jump from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference and hired coaches Butch Davis and Jim Morris, instrumental in leading the Hurricanes to national championships in football (2001) and baseball (1999 and 2001), respectively.
Dee also was a member and chair of the Committee on Infractions, as described by the Washington Post, “most notably when sanctions — including a bowl ban, scholarship reductions and forfeiture of games — came down against Southern California in 2010, all stemming from improper benefits given to then-Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush by sports marketers. Dee chaired the committee at the time, then saying ‘higher-profile players require higher-profile monitoring’”.
I appeared before Dee’s committee on numerous occasions. Dee had a great sense of humor and full of interesting stories. The intercollegiate athletics community will miss his presence.