Clemson University President Bill Atchley resigned today and Athletic Director Bill McLellan asked to be reassigned in the wake of a drug scandal in the school's athletic department.
Clemson's trustees accepted Atchley's resignation, effective July 1, during an eight-hour meeting.
"My resignation, essentially, is in the best interest of Clemson University," Atchley said after the meeting. "I think it is in the best interest of unifying the board of trustees."
Atchley's decision to step down came three days before a grand jury is scheduled to hear results of a probe into the dispensing of prescription drugs to Clemson athletes.
The State Law Enforcement Division's investigation has drawn national attention to Clemson and prompted McLellan to take a leave of absence two weeks ago.
Atchley requested the criminal investigation in December after Clemson track star Augustinius Jaspers died of a heart ailment in his dorm room. An autopsy revealed nonlethal traces of the prescription drug phenybutazone in his blood stream.
Since then, two track coaches have resigned and admitted dispensing the drug to members of the track team, and three football players have said they received muscle-building steroids at Clemson.
When the NCAA placed Clemson on probation in 1982 because of football recruiting violations, Atchley responded, "We were wrong and we're taking our medicine."
But he ran into problems when he tried to reorganize the athletic department in a move that would have limited the authority of McLellan.