It was an exhausting, yet exciting day for Jeff Fogelson, who was introduced at Seton Hall's new athletic director on Thursday in South Orange, N.J.
Fogelson had been unable to reach an agreement on a new contract to remain athletic director at Xavier, and it was clear Thursday both sides still had a different take on the stalemate.
''I am terribly disappointed at my inability over a four-month period to persuade Xavier to keep Jeff as its athletic director,'' said attorney Ken Seibel, a 1966 Xavier graduate who represents Fogelson.
''We made no specific demands, other than we did ask for a multiyear contract, and it became clear Xavier was not going to offer one . . . On the other hand, I was very happy for Jeff when the Seton Hall position was offered and we were able to obtain in three days a very generous contract that provides security for Jeff and his family.''
Seton Hall confirmed the multiyear contract, but no other details were released.
John Kucia, Xavier's administrative vice president, said Thursday that after meeting with Fogelson within the past week, - he was under the impression Fogelson intended to stay at Xavier. When told Wednesday that Fogelson had accepted the job at Seton Hall, Kucia admits to being surprised.
''I think we both, Jeff and I, did our best, and it just didn't work out,'' Kucia said. ''So I respect Jeff's decision, and I'm happy for him. The opportunity at Seton Hall is a good one and one he has chosen.''
Kucia declined to say why XU refused to offer Fogelson, 51, a new multiyear deal.
''I'd rather not get into that with the exception that from the very first conversation, the multiyear was not the whole story,'' Kucia said. ''There was more to it than that. I really don't want to get into it because we don't talk about people's private contractual relationships.''
Kucia handled the entire negotiation process. The Rev. James Hoff, Xavier President, never met with Seibel nor Fogelson about the contract.
Fogelson and his wife, Nancy, flew to South Orange to appear at a Seton Hall news conference Thursday.
''It's very, very difficult to leave Xavier,'' Fogelson said. ''Nancy and I spent 15 wonderful years in Cincinnati.''
Fogelson told The Enquirer that Seton Hall officials were excited Thursday, ''and that got me excited.''
''I'm looking forward to going, but yet it's going to be tough to leave,'' he said. ''I think it'll be harder when the time I'm truly leaving gets closer.''
Fogelson's contract runs through May 31.
Men's basketball coach Skip Prosser, recruiting in California, said he was happy for Fogelson but sad for Xavier.
''I'm personally losing a great friend and an excellent boss, someone who's been a constant in the rise of the basketball program since I became involved in 1985,'' Prosser said.
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