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Florida State AD criticizes probe of department

Posted: Thursday August 21, 2003 7:29PM; Updated: Thursday August 21, 2003 7:29PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State's athletic director criticized an investigation of his department by the school's inspector general on Thursday as "antagonistic, inaccurate and caustic," but conceded there could be better communication with university leaders.

David Hart Jr. also said a separate review of his department's operation by an outside consultant "contains many errors and an alarming amount of misinformation."

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President T.K. Wetherell reorganized the athletic department in June, moving many responsibilities to other areas of the university to eliminate what the inspector general described as a culture of isolation.

Hart, in a letter dated Aug. 15 to Inspector General David Coury, disputed the assessment that his department was isolated from the rest of the university.

"We are not, never have been, and will not become a department that operates in a culture of isolation," wrote Hart, who challenged several of the recommendations made by the internal review and by MGT of America, the outside consultant.

He pointed to reviews from former President Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, the Atlantic Coast Conference and a regularly scheduled compliance review by the IG that never mentioned departmental isolation.

"Many people have been hurt and embarrassed by the publicity generated from the allegation of gambling by a student-athlete," said Hart, who is in the middle of a lucrative 10-year agreement approved by D'Alemberte. "It is time for us to move forward."

The IG report said the athletic department's reporting system "exposes the university to significant risk and shows lack of forethought and good judgment."

Wetherell said the department did not do "its best work" in its investigation into numerous reports that quarterback Adrian McPherson was gambling.

McPherson reached an agreement with Leon County authorities this summer on two felony charges and a misdemeanor gambling allegation. He is now attending Tennessee State.

Meanwhile, Wetherell is wrapping up his initial evaluation on Hart -- a report expected to be made public Monday.

In June, Wetherell said several areas of the athletic department would report to other areas of the university and not to the athletic director's office.

Nearly 60 recommendations for operational changes were included in two reports presented to the trustees.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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