The local favorite for USF's athletic director job said Friday that he is not a candidate.
In a three-paragraph statement, Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks said his commitments to Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School, his charities and family would not enable him to devote the time necessary to do the job effectively.
"As flattered as I am to be publicly mentioned for the (AD position), I do not believe the timing is right for me to pursue any new opportunities," Brooks said in the statement.
Of all the names mentioned for the job, he becomes the second one with strong area ties — and huge support among the fan base — to essentially withdraw from candidacy.
Tampa Bay Sports Commission executive director Rob Higgins said earlier this month he's not pursuing the position.
Brooks' announcement will intensify speculation about former Louisville AD Tom Jurich, believed to be developing a groundswell of support among prominent USF boosters (and some coaches) for the position. Jurich has a condominium in Clearwater.
It is believed USF wants to have a new AD in place before July 4, though the school's search committee — working in conjunction with national search firm Eastman & Beaudine — has met only once so far.
Here is Brooks' statement in full:
As flattered as I am to be publicly mentioned for the Director of Athletics position at the University of South Florida, I do not believe the timing is right for me to pursue any new opportunities. Commitments with Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School, Derrick Brooks Charities and, most importantly, my family, would not enable me to fully devote the time that would be required to successfully engage in this role at USF.
While working for Jeff Vinik on the Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties team, I have enjoyed assisting the (USF) Athletics Department over the past several months, specifically working with coach Charlie Strong to help him achieve his strategic priorities – which we all know will be great for both the University and the Tampa Bay region.
I see nothing but a great future for USF Athletics and I know that the advisory committee and President (Judy) Genshaft will have excellent candidates to choose from in selecting the new leader. I look forward to joining hands with that new leader in advancing the University in an exciting direction. Go Bulls!