Alex Saragoza, the head of the University of California’s outreach program, resigned Tuesday after admitting to giving fraudulent grades to two former UC Berkeley football players.

Last month, the university suspended Saragoza’s $78,100 salary as Berkeley professor for giving retroactive passing grades to two students, Michael Ainsworth and Ronnie Davenport, in courses they had not completed – an action that allowed the students to remain eligible for football. The suspension did not affect Saragoza’s $207,000 salary as vice president of educational outreach.

In his UC post, Saragoza, the UC’s highest-ranking Latino, was in charge of attracting poor and minority students to the University. In a letter released by the UC Office of the President, Saragoza said he did not want the scandal to taint his office and was ending his 10-month tenure.

“I am concerned that my efforts to advance the University’s educational outreach initiatives have been compromised by recent outside events,” Saragoza wrote. “I have concluded that it is in the best interest of the work of educational outreach for me to step down.”

UC President Richard Atkinson released a statement saying that while Saragoza’s resignation was “necessary,” he accepted it with “great personal regret.”

UC Irvine Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Manuel G—mez has been named interim vice president for educational outreach. Atkinson said he would appoint a permanent vice president in six months.

– Nexus Staff Report