By ANTONYA ENGLISH
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 4, 2001
TAMPA -- Despite allegations of racism in South Florida's women's basketball program and months of negative publicity about the athletic department, the person in charge of helping shape the school's search for an athletic director said Thursday that USF still can lure top-notch candidates.
"I think the University of South Florida, when it does get its search (under way), will be attractive to good candidates," said Bill Carr of Carr Sports Associates Inc., a consulting firm. "I think they will bring a good person forward in their final selection. This program has a lot to offer and will be very attractive to a lot of people."
Over the past three days, Carr Sports Associates interviewed more than 200 people to help put together guidelines for what type of person the next athletic director should be. Those interviewed included USF coaches, athletes, support staff, athletic and academic administrators, off-campus program supporters and athletic association members.
"I sense a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm of the program from the people we've talked to," Carr said.
Carr originally proposed putting together the guidelines and conducting the athletic director's search, but USF officials requested just the guidelines. Carr said the cost of performing the interviews and compiling a report for USF president Judy Genshaft is $15,000 plus expenses.
He said he will complete the report "very soon," and then the school's administration will determine a time-table and format for its search.
"I think we've had a broad constituency of people that we've had to interact with," Carr said. "We're trying to gain their perspectives on what the athletic program is going to face in the next five to seven years. What are the critical issues that loom on the horizon of the program? Those critical issues will shape the skill set and experiences that will be appropriate for the next athletics director. Developing that profile is the first step."