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AD says Robinson will return to coach Seminoles next season

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001


Although rumored to be on an increasingly hotter seat as his team has struggled for a third straight season, Florida State coach Steve Robinson will be back next season, athletic director Dave Hart said.

"I think he has worked very, very diligently in the face of a lot of frustration coupled with a lot of disappointment," Hart said. "I've watched over the years people maybe change the way they do business when they find themselves in that setting, maybe alter their priorities and they begin to do things a little differently and not necessarily the right way because they panic a little bit. I've seen none of that in Steve and I've seen none of that in our team of late. Our team has played very hard despite some losses."

The Seminoles (7-19) could fail to reach double-digit wins for the first time since the 1958-59 season when they were 8-15.

Hart decided it was time to stop the rumor mill. Bob Knight has been spotted in Tallahassee and has been mentioned on talk radio, Internet sites and newspapers as a possible replacement and, perhaps, the best choice to pump some enthusiasm into FSU's dwindling fan base.

Robinson, 43, in his fourth season after replacing Pat Kennedy, received an extension in April 1999 on a contract that pays him about $400,000 annually through the 2002-03 season.

"It was time to separate the job security from the annual end-of-the-year evaluation, which will still take place and which will be comprehensive in nature in looking at every aspect of the program, looking at this year and ahead to next year," Hart said. "I hope we'll be able to shoulder up, all Seminole faithful, no matter what your immediate reaction is to this decision, and offer the type of support that can often contribute to a breakthrough season."

FSU closes the regular-season with games at North Carolina State on Sunday, its home finale Wednesday against Georgia Tech and then at Clemson on March 3.

Florida's Wright questionable

GAINESVILLE -- Forward Brent Wright is questionable for Saturday's game against No. 14 Alabama after re-injuring his right foot, coach Billy Donovan said.

Wright had surgery to repair a stress fracture in the foot in early January and missed four games. He aggravated the injury in the No. 7 Gators' 75-55 win over No. 12 Mississippi on Wednesday.

No decision on Crum's future

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum has not been offered a contract buyout and no decision has been made about his future, university president John Shumaker said.

"I understand there is speculation and a lot of intense interest about these issues, and I respect that," Shumaker said. "But at this point, the university has done its best not to contribute to that and not to release information or to engage in public speculation prior to the appropriate time."

Shumaker and athletic director Tom Jurich spoke at a news conference called to announce that Jurich had removed himself from consideration for athletic director at Indiana.

Jurich never mentioned Crum, 63, by name but made veiled references to the basketball situation while explaining why he pulled out of the running for the Indiana job.

"We have a lot of problems facing us, and I've never really walked away from a problem without it being serviced correctly," Jurich said. "I certainly don't want to start now."

Shumaker denied recent broadcast and Internet reports that school officials had met behind closed doors last week and decided to fire Crum.

TCU: Senior Myron Anthony and junior Greedy Daniels were dismissed from last week because they failed multiple drug tests, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Top 25

OHIO ST. 63, NO. 3 ILLINOIS 61: Sean Connolly's three-pointer with 30 seconds left gave the host Buckeyes the upset that opened up the race for the Big Ten title.

"I hit one of the biggest shots I've hit in college," said Connolly, who missed his first three attempts from three-point range.

Frank Williams was boxed in on the Illini's last shot and his long attempt from in front of the Illinois bench fell short. Hundreds of fans flooded the floor at Value City Arena after the final buzzer.

The Illini (21-6, 11-3) came in on a five-game winning streak and still lead Michigan State (10-3) by a half-game in the conference.

Ohio State (18-9, 9-5) had lost its first four games against ranked teams this season, but has knocked off four ranked teams in the past month -- including another team that was No. 3 at the time, Michigan State. Brian Brown led Ohio State with 18 points.

NO. 1 STANFORD 75, WASH. ST. 64: Casey Jacobsen scored 21 and the host Cardinal overcame an eight-point halftime deficit.

NO. 15 UCLA 88, OREGON 73: Matt Barnes scored 21 and Jason Kapono had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and the visiting held Bruins off a second-half comeback. Dan Gadzuric added 16 points and eight rebounds for UCLA, which has won 14 of 16.

NO. 25 PROVIDENCE 119, BINGHAMTON 58: Romuald Augustin scored 17 in 15 minutes for the host Friars, who entered the Top 25 this week for the first time since Jan. 24, 1989.

Coach Tim Welsh used the game against the Division II team as a scrimmage, almost evenly dividing time between his first- and second-string units.

Providence shot 80.6 percent from the field in the first half to take a 61-22 lead.

State

GEORGIA STATE 90, UCF 85: Thomas Terrell had 30 points and 14 rebounds and Shernard Long added 27 points as the visiting Panthers held off a late rally in a TAAC game.

Paul Reed led UCF with 21 points and nine rebounds. Kevin Lee had 16 points and Al Miller had 13 points and seven assists.

CAMPBELL 83, FAU 80: Adam Fellers scored 24 to help the visiting Camels break a 13-game road losing streak in a Trans America Athletic Conference game.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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