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New academic advisor hired by athletic department

The USF athletic department filled the position of associate director of athletics for academics. Athletic Director Doug Woolard hired Jo-Ann Nester, the sitting director of athletics at the University of San Diego, as announced Monday.

“We’re extremely excited to attract Dr. Nester as the overseer of our academics,” Woolard said in a statement. “Dr. Nester has a wealth of experience in every facet of intercollegiate academics and her sincere interest in the welfare of student-athletes, especially in their academic pursuits, is evident along every step of her career.”

Nester added in a statement, “I’m really excited for the opportunity to work with Doug Woolard and his great staff at the University of South Florida. USF is on a springboard right now for everything that is exciting about Division I athletics. Joining the Big East is exciting and the University enjoys an outstanding academic reputation. This opportunity has all the right pieces for me.”

Nester has been at San Diego since July 2002, first as associate director of athletics and senior women’s administrator before eventually rising to interim director of athletics in July 2003.

Women’s basketball hires new assistant

Women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez announced Monday the hiring of a new assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, Jeff Osterman, to replace the position left open by the departure of Sadiaa Jones, who went to a similar position at Georgia Tech.

Osterman arrives at USF after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Fordham University as the Rams’ top aid.

“I am very excited to have Jeff Osterman as a part of the women’s basketball staff at USF,” Fernandez said in a statement. “He brings us a wealth of experience not only on the basketball court, but in recruiting quality student-athletes that will help us compete for a Big East title.”

Osterman has coached previously in Florida when he was the women’s basketball head coach at Central Florida Community College (CFCC) from 1997-02. Prior to that he served as co-head coach at CFCC for two years (1995-97) and as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator for one season (1994-95).

While at CFCC, Osterman recruited and coached 14 National Junior College Athletic Association All-Americans and seven Kodak All-Americans.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Jose Fernandez in these exciting times as USF moves to the Big East Conference,” Osterman said in a statement. “I feel very fortunate and look forward to working with the rest of the staff to help bring a championship to Tampa.”

Osterman, a 1992 graduate of Siena College with a bachelor’s degree in marketing/management, will reside in Tampa with his wife, Kristin.

Former Bull may be traded

The Washington Post reported July 13 that a source close to the Washington Wizards has talked with several teams about a possible trade of their former No. 1 pick Kwame Brown. Possible teams include the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angles Lakers, which would offer players like Vlade Divac and former USF player Chucky Atkins, who had found recent success as a starter in the Lakers’ dismal 34-28 season.

The Wizards announced June 29 that they made Brown a restricted free agent.

NHL season back finally back on

The NHL and the players’ association reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a new labor deal, ending a lockout that wiped out last season.

The sides were working for 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon to hammer out the collective bargaining agreement that will return the NHL to the ice. In February, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, making the NHL the first North American sports league to lose a year because of a labor dispute.

Both sides still need to ratify the deal, which is expected to contain a salary cap. That process is expected to be completed next week, the league and the union said in a joint news release.

Both sides met for 10 straight days in New York, and it became clear Wednesday morning — the 301st day of the lockout — that they weren’t going to leave the room without an agreement in hand.

The expected salary cap will likely have a ceiling approaching $40 million and a minimum somewhere between $20 million and $25 million.

Staff report, Associated Press