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Former Utah Deputy A.D. Resigns From ISU Following Questionable Work Trip

Apr 13, 2023, 11:51 AM

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SALT LAKE CITYFormer Utah Athletics Chief Operating Officer and Deputy A.D. Kyle Brennan resigned from his position as Athletic Director at Illinois State after questions were raised about a trip he took with potential donors during the Big Ten football championship in December 2021.

Brennan served as the Deputy A.D. for the University of Utah from December 2007 to January 2021. His promotion to Chief Operating Officer came in 2018.

In a press release from Illinois State, Interim President Aondover Tarhule officially announced Brennan’s resignation. Athletics staff will report to Interim President Tarhule during the transition period.

In an article released by WGLT, the details of the trip are described in detail. It is said that the cost of hotels, travel, and tickets totaled over $23,000.

It’s common to go to sports games or go on trips with donors for fundraising purposes. But, there is a fine line that separates what is acceptable and what is over the top. According to the reporting from WGLT (an NPR affiliate), the ISU Foundation’s own guidelines prohibit “lavish” or “extravagant” spending, even for donor events.

Brennan declined the WGLT’s request for an interview.

“I want to thank Kyle for the energy and dedication he brought to this position,” Tarhule said. “Under his leadership, Redbird athletes have achieved great success in the classroom and in competitions. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Lavish Trip Leads To Aaron Rossi Pledge

Aaron Rossi, former CEO of Reditus Labs, was allegedly one of the potential donors on the trip.

Rossi was one of the businessmen who found a way to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic. Reditus Labs opened in June 2019 with a focus on anatomic pathology and histology.

When coronavirus began to run rampant in early 2020, Reditus Labs switched their focus to COVID-19 testing.

Following the trip which saw over $20,000 in expenses and a trip to a strip club, Rossi pledged a $3 million donation to the Athletic Department.

Rossi was indicted on federal tax fraud charges shortly after making the pledge. According to WLGT, Illinois State University won’t say if that money ever materialized

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Former Utah Deputy A.D. Resigns From ISU Following Questionable Work Trip