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FSU athletic director Hart to leave

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State athletic director David Hart Jr. is leaving the school after a dozen years.

Florida State president T.K. Wetherell told Hart this summer that his contract would not be renewed after its January 2009 completion.

Wetherell, who played football for the Seminoles 40 years ago, and Hart had not seen eye-to-eye on the operation of the athletic department for the past few years.

Hart planned an afternoon news conference to discuss his "mutually acceptable and amicable separation agreement with the university."

Neither Wetherell nor football coach Bobby Bowden was immediately available for comment.

Wetherell has pushed Hart to improve working relationships with other university offices, improve procedures for investigating allegations of wrongdoing by athletes, and the internal communications within the athletic department.

According to state records, Hart was paid $557,821.21 last year.

Two of Hart's top assistants, Charlie Carr and Pam Overton, left Florida State on Oct. 1.

The school also is awaiting word from the NCAA after it self-reported an academic scandal involving two dozen athletes that resulted in two employees being fired this past summer.

During Hart's tenure, success in high-revenue sports like football has dropped off while several other programs, namely men's track and women's soccer, flourished.

Hart also had mixed success with his coaching hires. Chris Gobrecht left after just one year as the women's basketball coach and her contractual situation wound up in litigation. Steve Robinson was fired after five mediocre seasons as the men's basketball coach, and the program reached postseason play only once during Hart's tenure.