Bob Ferry, who resigned as general manager of the Washington Bullets June 12 after 17 years in that position, said last night that he has held several conversations with Loyola College officials about the vacant athletic director's job.
"I first got approached a few weeks ago," Ferry said, "but at this point, I would characterize them as just informal talks. It has not reached the point of getting an offer. I'm interested, but it's premature to say anything else at this time."
Loyola is seeking a replacement for Tom Brennan, who left the school Oct. 1 to become athletic director at San Jose State. Jamie Smith has been serving as the interim AD.
Thomas Scheye, academic vice president and provost at Loyola, is heading two committees conducting the search, one composed of faculty members and students, the other of alumni and friends in the community.
"Obviously, Bob is a very attractive candidate, but he's not the only one. We're just exploring with each other now," said Scheye. "We hope to conclude this process and make a selection by the middle of January."
Scheye said Ferry is an exception in that he is the only one of six serious candidates not involved presently in a collegiate athletic department. He would not name the others out of "respect for their confidentiality."
But one of the major qualifications for the new AD will be an ability to continue the rebuilding of men's and women's basketball within the framework of Loyola's academic guidelines.
"He has to travel around and help us outside the school as well, be an ambassador and even a fund-raiser" said Scheye, to whom the athletic director is responsible. "He also has to win the vote of both committees. What we have learned in this search is that a number of people are interested in the job. That's extraordinarily heartening."
Ferry, 53, is working for NBC-TV as an analyst on "The Insiders" pre-game show for NBA telecasts. He teams with USA Today basketball columnist Peter Vecsey. Their next broadcast is Christmas Day, before the Pistons-Bulls game in Chicago.