Thursday, May 17, 2012
SMU ousts athletic director Steve Orsini
No immediate reason was given for Orsini's dismissal.
The man who hired the football team’s savior in Coach June Jones and Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown has been fired by SMU effective immediately, SMU President R. Gerald Turner announced Thursday.
Steve Orsini, who revitalized SMU athletics with those two hires and helped orchestrate the move to the Big East, was fired in a relatively surprising decision by the administration in the wake of the recent SMU athletics highs, such as the hiring of Brown and the famous SMU women’s rowing team for their “Call Me, Maybe” YouTube video.
“After several discussions over the last few weeks, it became apparent to me that it was necessary to make this change,” Turner said in a statement.
Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs Tim Leonard has been named interim director of athletics. Leonard worked with Orsini at the University of Central Florida in a similar role and now takes over for him after his firing.
“We thank Steve for his contributions to SMU athletics,” Turner said. "While we both are committed to the support of our student-athletes and coaches, a unified effort is required for future progress in our athletics programs.”
Turner stated that a national search for a new director of athletics will begin immediately.
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