COLLEGE PARK -- Former Miami and Cal athletic director Dave Maggard confirmed yesterday that he met on campus with University of Maryland officials last weekend, but said that he is not a candidate for the vacant athletic director's job.
Maggard, 54, is director of sports for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. Maggard said Friday that he also had met earlier with the university's search committee as a consultant and had no plans of leaving his position for Maryland.
"I can tell you most assuredly that I am not interested in the job," Maggard said by telephone yesterday. "It [the visit] was part and parcel with what I was asked to do as a consultant. I made it clear to them before I came up as well as after we met that I wasn't going to get any more involved. I have essentially closed that chapter."
Maggard's visit came shortly after East Carolina athletic director Dave Hart Jr. announced Friday that he too did not intend to pursue the Maryland job, which has been open since Andy Geiger left to take the same position at Ohio State in mid-May.
Maggard declined to comment when asked if he had been offered the job.
Marie Smith Davidson, executive assistant to university president William E. Kirwan and the head of the search committee, wouldn't comment on any aspect of Maggard's visit or on whether he had been offered the position.
With Maggard and Hart apparently eliminating themselves from consideration, Maryland likely will continue to pursue Tulane athletic director Kevin White. The 43-year-old administrator, who finished second to Geiger in 1990 while he was athletic director at the University of Maine, is believed to be the top choice of the committee.
At this stage, the only other reported candidate on the list forwarded by the committee to Kirwan on Monday is Saint Louis athletic director Debbie Yow. A former women's basketball coach at Florida, Kentucky and Oral Roberts, Yow said earlier this month that she also met with the committee as a consultant.
A source close to White said Monday that he believes Maryland officials might have to look elsewhere for its next athletic director, based on a conversation he had with White last weekend.
"When I talked with him Saturday, he gave me the impression that I shouldn't be concerned [about his leaving]," said the source, a high-ranking member of the Tulane athletic department. "Unless what Maryland is bringing to the table changes, I think he's going to stay."
Among White's concerns, sources say, are Maryland's $6 million athletic department deficit, the financial compensation that will likely be offered, the flexibility of the director to put together his or her staff and the large number of teams that are hampered competitively by a lack of scholarships. The Terrapins finished last overall athletically in the Atlantic Coast Conference during the past year.
Sources at Tulane and Maryland said that the biggest obstacle in White officially becoming a candidate is the deficit, but, as one source said, "he has given them [Maryland officials] certain parameters with which he would be more comfortable talking about the job."
One of those conditions was for the university to significantly reduce the debt. According to sources at Maryland, plans had been under way to bring down that figure before June 30, the closing date for applications. Proposals regarding the reduction of the deficit were given recently to Kirwan to accommodate White or whoever else ends up with the job.
Davidson said that Kirwan plans to talk with each of the individuals recommended by the committee, and indications are that he has already talked with Maggard. A decision is expected in the next week to 10 days. White could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Tulane athletic department spokesman Ian McCaw said that his boss hasn't talked with Maryland officials since he did so as a consultant earlier this month.