Lengyel under consideration for interim post

Updated: November 24, 2004, 1:35 PM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- University of Colorado officials have spoken with former Naval Academy athletic director Jack Lengyel about serving as interim athletic director at CU, but said Wednesday that no final agreement had been reached.

The Daily Camera of Boulder reported that Lengyel would begin work Dec. 1, the day after athletic director Dick Tharp officially resigns, and that Neinas Sports Services would help look for a permanent replacement.

CU-Boulder Chancellor Richard Byyny confirmed Wednesday that Lengyel was among potential candidates and that CU was considering using a consultant to find a permanent hire, but said there were no final agreements.

"We are working quickly to designate an interim athletics director but have not come to any agreement at this time,'' Byyny said in a written statement.

Lengyel, former president of both the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and Division I-A Athletic Directors, could not be reached for comment.

Tharp announced his resignation Monday after nine years in his post.

An investigating panel that earlier this year concluded some football players made sex, alcohol and drugs available to recruits also accused CU officials of lax oversight. However, it found no evidence they condoned the players' actions.

Provost Phil DiStefano told athletic department employees Tuesday it could take four to six months for a new hire to be named.

"We're committed to a thoughtful and thorough process, and that takes some time,'' CU spokeswoman Michele Ames said. "These processes are not ones that move forward in haste.''

Byyny said he and DiStefano would assemble a committee to review candidates.

Lengyel was the former Marshall University football coach who helped rebuild a squad devastated by a plane crash that killed 75 people, including 36 players, in 1970.

He was athletic director at Fresno State (1983-86) and Missouri (1986-88), and an associate athletic director at Louisville (1978-80) before becoming athletic director at Navy (1988-2001).

He most recently served as interim athletic director at Temple University and then Eastern Kentucky.

Several CU staffers said they were interested in the permanent position at Colorado, but both Jon Burianek, associate athletic director for business, and men's golf coach Mark Simpson said they had not had any discussions about the job with DiStefano.

Whoever takes over for Tharp permanently will have to work with restrictions in recruiting enacted after the investigations into recruiting, along with a 15 percent reduction in the athletic budget this year.

The new athletic director also will be running department that was once independent but has since been placed under DiStefano's supervision.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press