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Former Rowdies owner Corbett donates $1.5 million to put name on new USF soccer stadium

CLEARWATER — USF's new soccer stadium, opening in August, will carry the name of former Rowdies owner Cornelia Corbett, as she and her husband, Richard, have made a donation of $1.5 million to USF's athletic department.

"We both felt like it was a great thing to be involved in," Cornelia Corbett said by phone Monday night, after athletic director Doug Woolard announced the donation at a booster event. "The way the university has expanded and excelled in the last 10 years has been phenomenal."

The Corbetts have been active in community philanthropy — her name graces the 66,000-square-foot building of the Tampa Museum of Art — but this is their first donation to USF. Woolard said the Corbetts' donation continues their strong relationship with soccer in the Tampa area.

"They're great people, and they've been so philanthropic to the entire Tampa Bay area," Woolard said. "This is a very significant gift for us and allows us to make a significant advance to our soccer program."

Interim coach: I didn't know of OSU troubles

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two weeks after Jim Tressel was forced to resign because of an improper benefits scandal at Ohio State, interim football coach Luke Fickell said Monday that he didn't know of any NCAA rules violations.

"I wasn't going to say that I had blinders on, but (I was) very focused on the task at hand," Fickell said. "I was not informed of any information until it became public knowledge."

Fickell, 37, spoke at an introductory news conference, during which he promised Buckeyes fans a team that would be about "respect, toughness and being men of action."

He is a former OSU player who has been on the staff for the past 10 years, coaching linebackers and, most recently, serving as co-defensive coordinator.

Fickell was selected to fill in as coach when Tressel was suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for knowing, but failing to report, that players took cash and discounted tattoos in exchange for memorabilia.

After weeks of revelations and rumors, Tressel resigned under pressure May 30 amid an ongoing NCAA investigation of his successful program.

Athletic director Gene Smith said Fickell's two-year contract would be modified to pay him $775,000 a year in addition to bonuses. Tressel was paid an estimated $3.5 million per season.

And the attorney whose e-mail tip to Tressel helped launch the scandal is being investigated for legal misconduct by the Ohio Supreme Court. Sanctions against lawyer Christopher Cicero, for violating professional conduct rules, could range from a public reprimand to permanently losing his law license.

Meanwhile, former Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent and has taken steps toward making himself available for an NFL supplemental draft.

FIESTA BOWL: The bowl hired University of Arizona president Robert Shelton to replace the ousted John Junker as executive director. Junker was fired after an internal investigation uncovered apparently illegal campaign contributions by staff and lavish spending by him on parties and a night at a strip club.

SOFTBALL: Patrick Murphy, who left the Alabama coaching job Friday to take over at LSU, backed out and returned to the Crimson Tide job. Alabama is taking him back — "I am glad to see that he has had a change of heart, because I have always known that he is one of the finest coaches in America," athletic director Mal Moore said.

NORTH ALABAMA: The board of trustees voted 6-3 to move the school, located in Florence, up to Division I athletics from D-II.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Former Rowdies owner Corbett donates $1.5 million to put name on new USF soccer stadium 06/13/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 13, 2011 10:45pm]
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