July 28th, 2011 02:28 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Tennessee
Tags: AD, Heath Shuler, UNC, UT
When news first broke a month ago that Heath Shuler was a candidate for Tennessee’s open athletic director gig, we made it clear that we weren’t buying what was being sold. In fact, a source close to UT’s search told us that the former Heisman runner-up was in no way a realistic candidate at all.
Now a spokesperson for the North Carolina congressman is making that even more clear:
“Heath Shuler is running for re-election in 2012. He is not going to be the next athletic director at the University of Tennessee. He has not sought it. He has not interviewed for it. If offered, he will not accept it. He will not be the next AD at UT. He is running for re-election.”
That’s what the Shuler team told Politico.com yesterday.
While Shuler ramps up his campaign in one part of the state, over in Chapel Hill UNC officials are looking for a new athletic director. One day after dismissing Butch Davis as head coach, AD Dick Baddour announced that he is stepping down from his post.
Tennessee officials haven’t had an easy time finding a replacement for Mike Hamilton, and now a similar job is coming open. Both schools are in NCAA hot water, though the investigation into Tennessee is complete. The Vols are simply waiting on penalties to be handed down.
UT is trying to rebuild in football and in basketball while Carolina’s new AD will only have to oversee the reconstruction of the Tar Heels’ football program. UNC basketball — you might have heard — is a juggernaut, national program.
It will be interesting to see which school nabs the AD with the better reputation. UT has been looking for a while, so if UNC somehow trumps the Vols with a big name hire — assuming UT doesn’t make one, too — Big Orange fans will have another reason to bemoan their school’s administration.
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