- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Many are beginning to wonder whether USF coach Skip Holtz is on the hot seat now that the Bulls have gotten off to a disappointing start to the season.
Athletic director Doug Woolard may not have done much to put those questions to rest Tuesday, releasing a statement in Tampa to local media gathered for USF basketball media day. The statement reads:
"I know Skip, his staff and the players are working diligently to get that next win, and to find sustained success. Certainly, the results, in terms of wins and losses to date, are disappointing to everyone involved with our program -- the coaches, the players, athletic administration and our passionate fans. Our expectations for this program are very high. I also know this team has a lot of football left to play and great opportunities in front of it. We're only six games into a 12-game regular season.
"We are going to provide all the support possible for our football program, including employment contracts that reflect our commitment to success. Many factors come into play when considering contract terms, including conditions in the national coaching marketplace. In Skip's case, multiple BCS schools sought his coaching services at the end of both the 2010 and 2011 seasons. As a result, we felt it was important to maintain the stability and continuity of leadership in our football program and extended Skip's contract.
"As has been our practice in the past, we will evaluate the status of each of our 19 programs at the conclusion of their respective seasons. We'll identify where we are as a football program at that time and continue to build from there."
All in one statement, Woolard defended his decision to give Holtz a contract extension last year off a 5-7 record -- including 1-6 in Big East play, while also saying the program would be evaluated at the end of the season.
The buyout USF would have to pay Holtz is substantial -- $2.5 million if he is fired at the end of this season. So Woolard no doubt is going to have to take that into account during his year-end evaluation.