Greg Shaheen, the self-described “therapist of March Madness,” has resigned from the NCAA.
Shaheen had been in charge of the NCAA’s marquee event, the men’s basketball tournament, for the past 12 years. Under his leadership, he watched the tournament expand from 65 to 68 teams, including the First Four “play in” games, and helped secure a $10.8 billion TV contract over 14 years.
The NCAA disclosed the resignation late Thursday, two days after Mark Lewis was hired as the new vice president overseeing national championship events. Lewis has extensive experience in sponsorships, ticket sales, private donations and merchandising agreements.
IBJ reported earlier Thursday that the NCAA had endured a public flogging since it announced Lewis' hiring as Shaheen's replacement.
Fans and prominent journalists have fired off more than 150 messages on Twitter either blasting the Indianapolis-based NCAA or praising Shaheen, who had overseen all 89 of the NCAA’s championships—on an interim basis—since August 2010.