The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff today announced that Chris Peterson has been selected as its new vice chancellor and director of athletics. Peterson was previously the athletic director at UA-Little Rock for fourteen years before leaving in controversy in 2014.
Peterson replaces Melvin Hines, who was fired as UAPB athletic director last September after one year.
In an afternoon press conference, Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander announced the selection. “After a national search, I am appointing Chris Peterson as UAPB Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director,” Chancellor Alexander told a crowd of around 200 fans. “Mr. Peterson is no stranger to UAPB… During his time [at UALR], he was known for his commitment to academic integrity and compliance, student-athlete welfare, and for his leadership in fundraising, planning and construction of athletic facilities.”
Peterson, who had notable success raising money for facilities at UALR, resigned after getting caught on a hot mic making making lewd comments during a women’s soccer game about a UALR player’s mother. Among others, Peterson said the player’s mother was “much curvier” than another person in the conversation had said. Peterson continued: “She had her shit hanging out, too. Remember that? ….. I got to make sure I’m in town for the weekend on Parents Day.” He remarked later: “She had two of ’em and they were out there for display.” Peterson’s comments were heard on the livestream of the game.
From the UAPB press release on today’s hiring:
“I’m the son of a college football coach and athletic director,” Peterson said. “I have grown up on a field, court and in the locker room. I was a college athlete, football coach and have worked my way up in the ranks of athletic administration over the past 40 years… My goal as your director of athletics is to do everything in my power to enhance the experience of the student athlete, with the ultimate goal being a college degree and employment. I want to uphold the rich tradition of Arkansas AM&N and UAPB while continuing to move the athletic department forward.”