SBD/May 9, 2013/Colleges

Rutgers Begins AD Interview Process; New Law Firm Hired For Mike Rice Review

Rutgers Univ. is "in the first phase of the interview process in its search for a new athletic director, with a half-dozen university officials set to meet" with Buccaneers Dir of Football Operations and former Rutgers Deputy AD Kevin MacConnell regarding the vacancy, according to a source cited by Tom Luicci of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. MacConnell, who served as an administrator in the Rutgers athletic department for 26 years, is "expected to be among approximately 10 candidates brought in for a first round of interviews." One name that has "surfaced as a surprise candidate" is FSU AD Randy Spetman. Parker Executive Search of Atlanta, which assisted with the school's search '09 search that resulted in the hire of former AD Tim Pernetti, has "again been retained by Rutgers." Wisconsin Deputy AD Sean Frazier, Louisville Exec Senior Associate AD and Senior Woman Administrator Julie Hermann, Stony Brook AD Jim Fiore, Fresno State AD Tom Boeh and Michigan State Deputy AD Greg Ianni also have "surfaced as potential candidates" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/9). In Orlando, Coley Harvey wrote Spetman, who has been at FSU since '08, is "exploring the opening, he certainly is doing it at a good time." Spetman is in the "final year of a contract that was extended last August," and it "expires in February." While FSU has "had its share of near-dramas under Spetman's helm, the school has also enjoyed its share of athletic success." Spetman "did not receive a base pay raise" with his contract extension, and "currently makes $350,000 in annual salary." Although he has been "publicly backed by university administrators, Spetman has drawn the ire of some fans during his tenure" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 5/8).

ADMINISTRATION EVALUATION: Rutgers yesterday said that it has "hired a new law firm to conduct an independent review of how it handled the suspension and subsequent firing of former men’s basketball coach Mike Rice." In New Jersey, Melissa Hayes reports Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP will "replace Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, which resigned May 3 after a possible conflict was discovered." Rutgers officials said that Cahill would "help with the transition to Skadden and that the change would not delay the completion of the independent review" (Bergen RECORD, 5/9).
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