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No Minter in Bearcats' Big East future

CINCINNATI -- The University of Cincinnati fired football
coach Rick Minter on Monday and offered him another position within
the athletic department.

Minter was fired three days after the Bearcats (5-7) ended their
season with a 43-40 loss to Louisville.

Minter has been at Cincinnati for 10 years, and with a 53-63-1
record had the most wins and losses in Bearcats' history. He had
three years remaining on his contract.

Minter took Cincinnati to bowl games four of the past six
seasons but had come under increasing criticism for failing to
create a larger fan base and national profile.

There was more pressure on Minter to produce a consistent winner
when Cincinnati accepted an invitation last month to leave
Conference USA for the higher-profile Big East.

Big East officials mentioned that Louisville and South Florida --
two other Conference USA teams making the switch -- have developed a
following.

Minter took note then that Cincinnati was the only one of the
three schools not mentioned.

"We seem to be the least-mentioned of all the schools in
football," he said. "They talked about South Florida and they
talked about the excellence of Louisville. We have a tremendous
opportunity here."

After a 3-0 start this year, the Bearcats lost seven of their
final nine games for their first losing season in four years.

Only 11,993 fans -- slightly more than one-third of the stadium's
capacity -- showed up on a cold, snowy afternoon to see the final
game. One banner during the game pleaded, "Minter Please Step
Down."

Athletic director Bob Goin declined to say what new job Minter
has been offered.

"I believe he has some administrative talent," Goin said.
"We'd be happy to have him do that."