WKU Releases Statement on Arnika Brown

After being arrested and indicted on charges of possessing and using counterfeit money, WKU Lady Topper forward Arnika Brown had seen no change to her status with the team.

That remains true today, with the following statement released by the university:

WKU Director of Athletics Dr. Camden Wood Selig:

“The recent developments in Arnika Brown’s legal situation have resulted in a very thorough review of the entire matter by many of us at WKU. Our primary goal has been to gather all the facts and information available in order to determine the most appropriate manner in which to move forward for all parties.

“I have met and discussed this situation with Arnika, President Dr. Gary Ransdell, WKU Chief of Staff and General Counsel Deborah Wilkins, Vice President for Student Affairs Howard Bailey, Associate Athletics Director for Compliance/SWA Pam Herriford, and Lady Topper Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles.

“We have also thoroughly reviewed WKU’s Student Handbook Standards of Conduct Policy and the WKU Student-Athlete Handbook, because we wanted to review this from each perspective. Both clearly indicate we reserve the right to handle matters such as this on a case by base basis. It is important to remember an individual is innocent until proven guilty, and it is important to remember each situation has its own unique set of circumstances that must be considered.

“We also researched how similar matters are handled elsewhere. In the last week, I have had productive conversations with conference commissioners along with the athletics directors and senior administrators at other institutions. What I discovered were policies and procedures that literally vary between each campus and conference.

“As a result of the conversations involving personnel at WKU, additional dialogue with leaders in collegiate athletics around the country, and extensive research on the matter, we were able to reach a conclusion on the most responsible way to proceed.

“Based on the information we have and the facts as we know them, we all believe the appropriate response in this instance is to withhold institutional adjudication of the matter until the legal process has run its course. Under similar circumstances, we would reach the same conclusion involving any of our student-athletes. Therefore, at this particular time, we have decided Arnika will be able to continue participating on a daily basis with our Lady Topper basketball program as this case proceeds. We are solidly behind her as she continues to pursue her degree and prepare for our upcoming basketball season.”

WKU Vice President of Student Affairs Howard Bailey:

“I have reviewed this matter extensively, and it is clear that Arnika Brown’s presence on campus poses no threat to the health or safety of the campus community, our athletic department or the Lady Topper basketball team. We have had students who are not student athletes and who had legal cases or charges pending against them. In those cases where, as here, the charges did not involve allegations of conduct that posed any threat to the health or safety of the campus community, these individuals have been permitted to attend classes and participate in campus extracurricular activities. It would not be prudent for our university to enforce a set a standards in this case that we do not enforce on our student body at large.”

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