Selmon Steps Down — And Up — for USF

When Lee Roy Selmon stepped down as USF athletic director and stepped into the presidency of the USF Foundation Partnership for Athletics, everybody won.

Most importantly, the move allowed Selmon to back away from the AD pressure that was adversely impacting his health. But it also positioned Selmon to be of even more help to USF.

Selmon’s value lies in his Hall of Fame name and his classy image. The right doors open for a local icon with the gentleman’s touch. Those attributes are invaluable in fundraising, which will be his main charge.

Those same traits, however, are of negligible value in the Byzantine, pressurized world of intercollegiate conference hopping, scheduling and budgeting. Selmon was not at his best when presiding over such details and occasionally dropped the ball, especially on scheduling.

USF didn’t so much lose an AD as it gained a leg up on fundraising. That will be critical to any success the Bulls have in the Big East conference, which they join in 2005.

A healthy Selmon may be just what the doctor ordered for USF’s relatively budget-challenged athletic coffers.

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