USF wanted Oliver to fill AD spot

USF athletic director Doug Woolard was named AD after the other finalist for the job, Virginia associate AD Jon Oliver, stepped down due to the uncovering of legal issues more than 10 years old, The Tampa Tribune reported on Friday.

USF courted Oliver first, offering him a five-year, $230,000 contract that included the possibility of up to $25,000 in incentives on May 7, one day after the search committee recommended the two finalists to USF President Judy Genshaft. The deal was struck down on Tuesday, however, when search committee consultant Chuck Neinas found out Oliver had been charged with a DUI in 1991 and cocaine possession in 1992 in Boise, Idaho. Oliver told the Tribune that the DUI charge was reduced to a misdemeanor inattentive driving charge, while the cocaine possession charge was dropped.

Oliver withdrew his name after the charges were discovered, saying he did not want to subject his family, USF or Virginia to any undeserved scrutiny. After Oliver’s withdrawal, USF e-mailed Woolard a five-year, $245,000 contract with up to $30,000 in incentives.

Vice president of University Advancement and search committee member Michael Rierson told the Tribune that Oliver was not offered a contract, but instead was sent a “draft,” as was Woolard. Rierson could not explain why Woolard’s “draft” was sent five days after Oliver’s, however. Rierson also told the Tribune that Woolard’s offer was higher because he is more experienced.

Woolard spent 10 years as athletic director at Saint Louis University before accepting the vacant USF position, made available when Lee Roy Selmon resigned in February. Woolard officially begins his career at USF on June 14.

Woolard did not return repeated phone calls to his home and office in Saint Louis this weekend.