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It seemed like a problem when South Florida recently was dropped from the 2003 football schedule by Baylor and Eastern Michigan. However, it has opened up more interesting, and lucrative, possibilities.
At least two schools, Kansas State and Central Florida, are awaiting word from USF about proposed games this fall.
KSU associate athletic director Jim Epps said he spoke with USF athletic director Lee Roy Selmon and coach Jim Leavitt (a former KSU co-defensive coordinator) last week about a Sept. 20 game in Manhattan, Kan. Monday he left messages for both.
"I just put calls in to them to gauge the pulse," Epps said. "What we talked about was a one-shot deal. Based on my discussions I'm cautiously optimistic we can make it happen. They want to mull it over."
UCF said it proposed an annual home-and-home series with USF beginning Sept. 6 at Raymond James Stadium, as well as letting the Bulls replace the Knights for a Sept. 20 game at Syracuse. UCF assistant AD John Marini said the Knights have not heard back.
"I haven't talked with Central Florida, so I don't know about that," Selmon said of the UCF proposal. "I've followed it in the papers. I'm pretty sure we'll have contact with UCF (this week).
"We'll follow up with (Kansas State) and with everyone. I know it's going to work out, it's just a matter of when and with whom. We've got to look at what it means for our entire schedule."
The Bulls have eight Conference USA games plus an Aug. 30 game at Alabama scheduled, leaving room for three. USF likely would receive a much greater financial guarantee from Syracuse or Kansas State than the $75,000 it would have gotten from the trip to Eastern Michigan. Also, the gate for a USF-UCF game likely would far supersede what Baylor would have drawn.
TAILBACK TRANSFERS: Michigan State's David Richard will transfer to Missouri.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Richard will finish the semester at Michigan State and enroll at Missouri in the summer, the Tigers said. Richard must sit out the 2003 season per NCAA transfer rules and will have three years of remaining eligibility.
Richard was the Spartans' top rusher with 127 carries for 654 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games. He also had 14 catches for 88 yards.
WASHINGTON: Interim school president Lee Huntsman has explained the school's "values and expectations" to coach Rick Neuheisel.
At issue was Neuheisel's initial denial that he had interviewed for the 49ers' coaching job, now filled by Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson. Neuheisel, a fourth-year coach at Washington, admitted the denial was a lie, citing an agreement of confidentiality with the 49ers.
"It's especially clear to Rick what the university's expectations are," Huntsman told the Seattle Times. He said he didn't direct Neuheisel to issue an apology but implied the coach may be on a shorter leash than before.
-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.