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Florida State athletic director to stay put

Posted: Tuesday December 2, 2003 5:53PM; Updated: Tuesday December 2, 2003 5:53PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State athletic director Dave Hart pulled out of consideration Tuesday for a similar position at the University of Georgia created by the pending retirement of former Bulldog football coach Vince Dooley.

Hart, who has Southeastern Conference ties dating back to his days as a student and basketball player at Alabama, informed Florida State administrators Tuesday that he had canceled an interview with Georgia officials scheduled for this weekend.

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"Dave Hart is not going to Georgia," a university source familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press. "He had been contacted for an interview."

School officials responded to AP questions on the basis they would not be identified.

Hart, 54, did not respond to telephone messages seeking comment on his decision to pull out of consideration for the Georgia job.

Rumors of Hart's possible departure swirled among a handful of key boosters at Monday's basketball game between Florida State and Northwestern.

Hart, who has been at Florida State since February 1995, is midway through a perks-loaded 10-year contract that expires Jan. 26, 2009 that puts him among the best paid sports administrators in the country.

In addition to salary and incentives that pay him more than $500,000 annually, Hart receives a $50,000 annuity on each contract anniversary date and stands to collect a $300,000 bonus for completing the agreement.

Dooley, who was hospitalized Tuesday with abdominal pain, was unable to secure a contract extension from Georgia president Michael Adams.

Adams, who has feuded with 71-year-old Dooley often since coming to the school in 1997, insisted that they stick to a deal reached in 2001 that ends Dooley's 25-year reign as athletic director on June 30.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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