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College football

USF, UCF decide to delay series

By PETE YOUNG, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 20, 2003


TAMPA -- South Florida and Central Florida agree they should develop an annual football series. It just won't begin this fall.

USF athletic director Lee Roy Selmon, who is actively seeking three games for the 2003 season, spoke Wednesday with UCF counterpart Steve Orsini. They intend to play, but not until at least 2004.

"(Selmon) agrees a football series between UCF and USF is a natural thing to happen," Orsini said. "As soon as we can work out our schedules we can begin."

Last week Orsini pitched a scenario on Selmon's voice mail for the teams to meet in 2003. It involved UCF giving USF its Sept. 20 game at Syracuse and the Knights playing at the Bulls on Sept. 6. That possibility was not discussed, however.

"It never got to that point," Orsini said. "When we talked about 2003, he said they had other things in the works, and they think they are fine for this year, and I respect that.

"I'm optimistic the series will take place one day. I think we mutually benefit. The fans, I get the impression, want it. Our fans, I know, have been very vocal."

Top I-AA teams Appalachian State, McNeese State and Florida A&M also are not immediate options.

"Not for 2003, I can tell you that," FAMU assistant athletic director for communications Alvin Hollins said. "We're full. We're locked up." ASU athletic director Roachel Laney said he had multiple discussions with Selmon but "nothing will go forward."

"We would love the opportunity to come to South Florida (any time)," Laney said. "Florida's been great to us (in recruiting)."

MSU athletic director Sonny Hawkins, whose team reached the I-AA championship in 2002 and is looking to add two games for '03, left two messages for Selmon.

"They may want to go in a different direction, I'm not sure," he said. "I'm still hoping to hear back from them. We would play them there."

Troy State athletic director Johnny Williams, who said Tuesday he had discussed a home-and-home series beginning this fall with Selmon, could not be reached. Conference USA assistant commissioner Brian Teter said the league had furnished USF with a list of teams possibly seeking games. Selmon would not name any he has contacted.

"We continue to have phone conversations with a variety of programs," said Selmon, who left for Oklahoma this morning to attend his aunt's funeral. "Until something is concrete and in writing, we're simply talking about phone conversations."

CENTRAL FLORIDA: Redshirt freshman Chad Breeden moved from safety to linebacker and sophomore Marcus Clemons from defensive tackle to offensive tackle. Junior offensive guard Travis Muse quit the team.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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