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Athletics adapts to Selmon’s absence

During the six-week sabbatical of USF athletic director Lee Roy Selmon — a break due to end Monday — the athletic department he has headed for two years has been run by committee.

Handling the department’s finances has been the threesome of Carl Carlucci, chief financial officer at USF; Richard Costello, CFO for the athletic department; and Michael Rierson, vice president of university advancement. Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy, senior associate director for athletics, has overseen athletics operations.

Sparks-McGlinchy said her job, which includes overseeing five USF teams, has not included many extra responsibilities.

“I basically do the same job I did before (Selmon’s leave),” she said. “I oversaw athletic operations before Lee Roy left. Now I have a little bit more work, but the system in place has worked well.”

Sparks-McGlinchy said that of the qualities that made Selmon a good AD, his leadership skills have been missed most. The assessment was echoed by some of those who worked with Sparks-Mcglinchy to fill the void left by Selmon’s sabbatical.

“He’s an outstanding leader, there is no doubt about that,” Costello said. “At the same time, however, we have a senior management team capable of doing the job necessary. We’ve divided up (Selmon’s) duties between ourselves and (Sparks-McGlinchy). I think the hard-working individuals involved have done an outstanding job. (Selmon) brought a lot to this program, however, and he definitely has been missed.”

Three days after Selmon, citing personal health issues, announced he was taking a break on Jan. 13, USF President Judy Genshaft responded to speculation by USF coaches as to who his replacement as AD might be by sending an e-mail to coaches. The university still regarded Selmon as its AD and was not searching for a replacement because “there is no job opening,” Genshaft said in the e-mail.

That stance has not changed, Rierson said, as the university awaits Selmon’s decision before moving forward.

“I think it has run very, very smoothly, and I think that everybody has been most cooperative and supportive,” he said. “We are letting Lee Roy talk to his family and make the best decision for him. As far as we are concerned, he is still our athletic director and will be unless he decides otherwise.”

Rierson also said the coaches are happy with how it has been handled, specifically with Sparks-McGlinchy’s effort. Rierson and Costello would not mention specific details but said planning for USF’s transition from Conference USA to the Big East next year has gone smoothly.