Heath Shuler seeking re-election; not Tennessee AD job

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., center, talks with Will Overstreet, right, during the Evening in Orange gala to support the
University of Tennessee Medical Center at Thompson-Boling Arena April 30.

Photo by Adam Brimer

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., center, talks with Will Overstreet, right, during the Evening in Orange gala to support the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Thompson-Boling Arena April 30.

Former University of Tennessee quarterback and now North Carolina congressman Heath Shuler joined the list Wednesday of people who won't be the next UT athletic director.

If he ever was on the list of possible replacements for Mike Hamilton, that is.

His name was certainly floated out as someone who might be interested a few weeks ago, notably by a Knoxville radio personality. Shuler and his aides didn't immediately dismiss the idea and, given tough re-election prospects in 2012 for the Blue Dog Democrat in Republican-leaning western North Carolina, Washington political bloggers and reporters fanned the suggestion into a hot story of speculation.

On Wednesday, however, a top aide to Shuler told the POLITICO website that the incumbent congressman won't be the next UT athletic director (yes, you can quit holding your breath now); he's running for re-election.

"Heath Shuler is running for re-election in 2012. He is not going to be the next athletic director at the University of Tennessee. He has not sought it. He has not interviewed for it. If offered, he will not accept it. He will not be the next AD at UT. He is running for re-election," Shuler spokesman Andrew Whalen told POLITICO.

POLITICO asked if Shuler might be considering retirement from congressional life. "Heath Shuler is running for re-election to the United States House of Representatives in 2012. Period. Definitively. Other descriptive adjectives that mean the same thing. He will be re-elected to Congress in 2012," Whalen replied.

Some political handicappers give Shuler about as much chance of being re-elected as close observers of Tennessee's athletic program had given him of becoming AD.

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Comments » 14

SummittsCourt writes:

Obviously he was never a candidate, but someone's wishful thinking that got out of hand.

We already have a great AD so the longer this takes to find a permanent one, the better.

hamneggs writes:

This might be a good time for Heath to consider changing parties, especially this election year.

AHoffman writes:

A hard choice: Congress or the UT Athletic Department. Both are disfunctional.

Volunatic writes:

in response to AHoffman:

A hard choice: Congress or the UT Athletic Department. Both are disfunctional.

Both have excellent retirement benefits.

UCFgradVOLatHEART writes:

The buyout for being a lousy AD is way better than the one you get for being terrible in Congress

lafollette37766 writes:

Under any other circumstances candidates would be knocking the door down for this job. Now it is starting to look like U T is gonna have to go set up a recruiting booth at West Town Mall.

gogovols2002#222335 writes:

Sounds like nobody wants to be the sacrificial lamb. It will be a solid 4-6 years before UT football and basketball starts to rebound from this mess. Fans and Alumni have short attention spans. What are the chances of Football & Basketball coaches making the cut after 3-4 mediocre seasons? Mighty South Carolina is even winning the recruiting wars. UF made good personel decisions. Thank goodness Georgia is on the ropes.

FarmerVol writes:

His re-election chances are good. Why leave a warm nest for a cold one and in this case, a nest with a red hot poker aiming at his sitdown parts. Nooooooo way Jose. Heath is a young man and the AD job is one of those on your way out types, not a ladder to greater success. Ever hear of a college AD becoming an NFL coach? Me neigher.

tennrich1 writes:

Heath, you better switch parties as fast as you can....I told you once and I'm sure you're aware but being a conservative, morally lead Democrat is like being a VHS tape in a DVD world...you just won't fit...and the Dem's will eventually throw you out by hook or crook......I wish you well my brother.....

Vol69 writes:

in response to hamneggs:

This might be a good time for Heath to consider changing parties, especially this election year.

He wont change parties,he is too much of a christian to move to that evil party..
,

jgardener1970 (Inactive) writes:

He did introduce some good legislation today:

"To ensure no Member of Congress will be paid in the event of a default, I co-sponsored the "Stop Pay for Members Act". Congress shouldn't receive a paycheck while veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities are worried about their benefits and consumers are faced with higher interest rates on mortgages, car payments, credit cards and student loans."
http://1.usa.gov/n9sEHu
Rep. Shuler Co-Sponsors "Stop Pay for Members Act" | Congressman Heath Shuler, Representing the 11
shuler.house.gov

TeamXer writes:

He should do us all a favor and go back into real estate.

bretticus25#294810 writes:

Good: he voted against Obamacare, essentially clinching a chance at reelection.

Bad: he thinks the establishment echoes the American public on their disdain for Nancy Pelosi. They do not. Heath Shuler miscalculated.

Worst: a bill that requires alcohol sensing technology to start your car. He should have to smell everyone's breath when Listerine goes bankrupt. Moronic at best, and wasteful at worst.

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

You left Sr. year Shuler, who needs ya!
Ps The job wasn't offered, and whoever your PR consultant is, they come across as an ahole.

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