Dave Hart Agrees to Separate from FSU

In an emotional speech to the media, an emotional Dave Hart spoke to the media about stepping down, some of his memories at FSU, and his future goals.

Tallahassee, FL- Dave Hart was visibly emotional on Thursday afternoon. After thirteen years as the Florida State Athletic Director, Dave Hart Jr. agreed upon a "mutually acceptable and amicable separation agreement" which will end his term as the Director of Athletics at The Florida State University on December 31, 2007. Along with the separation, Hart agreed to a lump sum amount of 475,000 dollars which will be paid to him. A new athletic director will be named tomorrow in an official university statement.

Here are some excerpts from the conference:

Opening Statement:

"I want to thank everyone associated with this university. It has been a privilege to be a part of the Seminole family and to sit in this chair. For me, it has been about the people. The student athletes first and foremost, the coaches, staff, faculty, Seminole Boosters, the fans, and the constituent groups that mean so much to Florida State. That's where the emotion is housed for me. As I said in my formal statement about those people I care about deeply, now is the time for everyone to move on. I think not to do so, would not be the right thing. I think mostly for the University, the uncertainty can become paralyzing. The University should always come first, and I think in that regard that this is the best decision. That is to do what we've been able to do and have a very amicable separation agreement and for everyone to be in a position to move forward. I also want to thank the two presidents I worked for, Sandy D' Alemberte and TK Wetherhell. I think without question that I will leave here with a feeling of accomplishment, pride, and seeing the shared visions of so many come to fruition. I've never seen an organization or a team that was very good unless a whole lot of people were good. It's about everybody and I feel very good that everybody contributed to any progress that we have made as an administration and as a program."

How difficult have the last few months been:

"It's been difficult. Human nature would dictate that it's been difficult. Anytime you pour your heart and soul into something, then it is hard to separate and it some point you have to take yourself out of it and look at the bigger picture."

About the desire to stay at Florida State:

"Well I had a desire beyond that and was to finish my career here. As Mike Martin says, life throws you a lot of sliders and you may not hit those, but you've got to try to do better and hit the next pitch. I would've liked to finish my contract, but that is not the fairest thing for the people that I've been privileged to work with."

About the upcoming football schedule:

"We've been trying so hard for months and months to schedule a neutral site game. We had a couple we thought. The scheduling has become so complex largely driven by a couple factors. The 12th game and the compacted season. The third factor is that universities are shopping around for a game. We are looking into taking a home game and moving it to a neutral site."

On what stood out at FSU:

"The people."

On the disappointment:

"Well I've passed that now. I will always be disappointed. I don't want to understate or overstate because when you love something as genuinely as I love Florida State, it's tough. But, this is best for Florida State."

His biggest disappointment as an AD:

"I feel we have been very close to turning the corner with men's basketball. If you don't make that tournament it is looked to be as unsuccessful at least in the eyes of many. It's not offensive in nature, it's just a reality. It's a shame because we had a record season last season in terms of wins, but we found ourselves on the bubble of the NCAA tournament again. Do I think the basketball program has improved dramatically? I do. There is road left to be traveled as well. But yeah, I think that not turning that corner is my answer."

On his role in ACC expansion:

"This is a very special conference and I am proud to have been apart of it and contribute whatever. The pleasure has been all mine."

On some future goals during remaining tenure:

"I would like to get a glass of wine. Maybe a bottle. Short term, my goals haven't changed over the course of my professional life very much. I have told TK that I have offered to transition the interim athletics director as much as I possibly can. I want to help however I can."

On the relationship with TK:

"I can tell you without hesitation that I don't have anything but very good things to say about this university, president, and the fan base. I leave with very good feelings about Florida State and I will always have a special place right here."

Dave Hart will be serving in an advising capacity for the ACC for the duration of the academic year.

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