Athletic Director Woolard: McCullum staying

With the future of men’s basketball coach Robert McCullum in question due to recent reports, USF Athletic Director Doug Woolard released a written statement Wednesday to address the rumors.

In the statement, Woolard backed the third-year coach and said, “Robert McCullum will remain our head men’s basketball coach next season.” Woolard also called the situation resulting from rumors that a prominent booster is planning to buy out the rest of McCullum’s contract “unfortunate, unfounded and irresponsible.”

In the statement, Woolard went on to support McCullum, explaining the reasons for the Bulls’ lack of success this season. Woolard cited the departure of the Bulls’ “best returning three-point shooter Marius Prekevicius,” the passing of Bradley Mosley and injuries to “probable starting point guard and promising freshman Chris Howard,” as well as freshman Zaronn Cann.

Woolard said those “circumstances” along with the challenges of the Big East contributed to the decision behind his statement.

He added that “regardless of these circumstances, the team has remained competitive throughout the Big East season and the program appears to have a good mix of experienced veterans and talented newcomers next year.”

Woolard made it no secret that he evaluates each coach at the end of the season, but because of the situation, he decided to step in and make a decision.

“We are making a break from our normal evaluation procedure to clear the cloud of negativity imposed on this program and its student athletes so they can continue building this program to levels we expect.”

Staff report