Dennis Thomas is stepping down immediately as chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, citing unspecified health and personal reasons.
Thomas, 58, will continue as commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky will take over as interim chair of the NCAA's infractions committee.
Thomas was in his sixth year as a member of the committee and was beginning his second year as chairman. He has overseen a handful of high-profile cases recently involving Ohio State, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and LSU.
"I could do the work," Thomas said by telephone Friday. "But I have to take care of my health."
He also oversaw the Southern Cal/Reggie Bush case that resulted in significant scholarship losses for the football program, and the Florida State case that resulted in wins being vacated for former coach Bobby Bowden.
Thomas said that he was advised to cut back on his duties as commissioner. The COI chairmanship, he said, could be a full-time job itself, and the increased workload was too great a burden physically.
Thomas has been commissioner of the MEAC for the past nine years. Prior to that, he served as athletic director at Hampton University from 1990-2002, guiding the Pirates' program from Division II to Division I.Copyright © 2015, CT Now