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Hart begins duties with Alabama

TUSCALOOSA – Dave Hart will have many roles in his new position with the University of Alabama athletic department.

Despite speculation to the contrary, Hart said athletic director-in-waiting is not one of them. The former Florida State AD said Mal Moore didn’t offer any assurance that he will be the successor when the 68-year-old Moore retires.

“I didn’t come here with any promises — I want to make that clear,” Hart told reporters Thursday. “I didn’t come here because Mal’s ready to retire. He’s not. I came here to try to help make a difference.”

Hart, 59, began working Monday in the newly created post of executive director of athletics. He will handle most of the daily duties of running the department, including dealing with future television negotiations and overseeing the compliance staff and the men’s basketball program.

“My basic charge is to lead the administrative team in the comprehensive operation of every facet of the department,” Hart said. “So, as Mal said, he can focus on fundraising, which he’s done extraordinarily well. And he can focus on some facility projects that are important to him and important to us.”

Moore’s contract, which pays $425,000 a year, expires in 2011.

Hart, a former Crimson Tide basketball player, and his wife Pam both are Alabama graduates. He had run Florida State’s athletic department since 1995 after eight years in the same post at East Carolina.

Hart left FSU, which has gone through an academic cheating scandal, after university President T.K. Wetherell told him his contract would not be renewed.

“There were some important issues directly related to that we simply agreed to disagree on,” Hart said. “And as a result of that, it was just time to move on.”

Some 60 student-athletes from football and other sports have or will lose some eligibility under Florida State’s self-imposed sanctions for cheating. The NCAA will conduct its own investigation and can impose additional penalties.

Moore said NCAA Director of Enforcement Services David Price indicated there was no red flag on hiring Hart.

“In fact, he said that (Hart) had taken the high road on this,” Moore said.

Hart said he jumped at the opportunity to return to his alma mater.

“There is not another university in the country, where I think I would even have engaged in the conversation about such a unique opportunity and circumstance,” he said. “I’ve said this to a number of people, including Mal a number of times, but it just feels good. It feels good, in my gut and in my heart.”