St. Bonaventure AD Joe Manhertz resigns following questions over decision to not compete in NIT

Manhertz became the target of questions over the men’s basketball team opting out of NIT consideration

St. Bonaventure athletic director Joe Manhertz resigned abruptly, the university announced Saturday, in the midst of questions regarding the men’s basketball program opting out from competing in the NIT without initially informing its players and fans.

St. Bonaventure provided no details behind Manhertz’s departure after two-plus years on the job, except to say school president Jeff Gingerich accepted his letter of resignation on Friday night.

“I want to thank Joe for the contributions he’s made to the athletics department the last three years,” Gingerich said in a statement. “Joe made a number of excellent coaching hires and was instrumental in helping to launch the athletics pillar of our Bolder Bonaventure fundraising campaign. We wish him the very best in his career.”

St. Bonaventure athletic director Joe Manhertz looks on in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the NIT, Tuesday, March 15, 2022, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

The school has already scrubbed most references to Manhertz and his bio from its web pages.

Manhertz took over at the Atlantic 10 school — located a 90-minute drive south of Buffalo, New York — in August 2021. He previously served as an associate athletic director at Duke, where he was primarily involved in fundraising for upgrades to the school’s various facilities. Getting hired by St. Bonaventure was a homecoming of sorts for Manhertz, who is from the Rochester, New York, area.

Manhertz became the target of questions over the men’s basketball team opting out of NIT consideration after the Bonnies dropped a 70-60 decision to Duquesne in the A10 tournament semifinals last weekend.

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After ESPN reported on Tuesday that St. Bonaventure (20-13) turned down an NIT bid, Manhertz issued a statement a day later saying the Bonnies opted out from postseason tournament consideration, while acknowledging that information wasn’t communicated to players or to the public.

Manhertz cited travel logistics, injuries and the uncertainty of players potentially entering the transfer portal, as reasons for informing the NIT selection committee Sunday of the school’s decision to not be considered. He said the decision was reached by athletic department administration and the coaching staff, and made “in the best interest of our student athletes.”

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