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Six weeks and no word from Selmon

With his six-week sabbatical coming to an end today, Lee Roy Selmon has not yet reached a decision regarding his future as USF athletic director.

“Six weeks is not a magic number (to make a decision on my future),” Selmon told The Tampa Tribune Friday night during the Second Annual DeBartolo Family Foundation All-Star Charity Gala at the A La Carte Event Pavilion. “They told me to take as much time as I needed.

“I’m still in the evaluating process and gathering information from the medical arena. I’m digesting it all. We’re just about prepared to make some decisions about now and the future. At this moment, I’m not prepared (to make those decisions).”

Selmon, who has worked in USF’s athletic department since 1993 and was named athletic director in 2001, announced his sabbatical on Jan. 12. In a statement that day, citing a private health matter, he called a return to his position “highly unlikely.” Selmon would not specify the health issue that could force his resignation and said he still has not ruled out a return as athletic director.

Selmon told The Tribune he had not made up his mind, saying “maybe, maybe not” when asked if he would return in the same position. He said he was dealing with the issue in his own way, saying everyone would go about making a decision separately.

Selmon played in six Pro Bowls and in 1995 was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His announcement last month drew heavy support from the city in which Selmon has attained legendary status. Selmon said the support from USF and the community has helped him get through what he called tough times.

Selmon did not say when he expected to reach a decision, nor did he say the university has given him a deadline. Michael Reich, director of USF media relations, said the university is willing to give Selmon, who Reich said is still being paid during the sabbatical, as long as he needs to reach a decision.

“Lee Roy Selmon has given 150 percent to the university for a long time. He works long days, seven days a week. He has accomplished a great deal, from starting a football team to rising to Division I-A, to building the athletic facility, to moving to the Big East,” Reich said.

Reich would not comment on correspondence between Selmon and USF administration, but he said an update would be made available soon regarding Selmon’s status.