O’Dell’s consulting work ‘a product of NIU’s respect’

By Wes Swietek

NIU Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell said Thursday that his consulting work at the University of South Florida is a measure of how much NIU is respected.

O’Dell has been consulting USF about their proposed establishment of a football program. USF hired Sports Resources Group of Charlotte, N.C. to aid in its study. SRG is headed by William Carr, who formerly was a director at Raycom Management Group.

NIU has used Raycom, at a cost of over $20,000, in three recent coach searches. But O’Dell said there is no connection.

“There’s no cronyism involved with my working for (SRC),” O’Dell said. “I’m not being paid by (SRC), I’m being paid by South Florida.

“(Consulting) isn’t uncommon in academic areas. Faculty throughout the campus do consulting work,” said O’Dell, who added that USF’s approaching of him showed that the NIU program is respected nationally.

“I think it’s a compliment to Northern for their athletic director to be asked to be part of another school’s endeavors.”

O’Dell added that he is doing his consulting during his own time. “If I thought it was conflicting with my schedule, I wouldn’t be doing it.

“I would not do outside work if I thought it would interfere with my job,” O’Dell said.

O’Dell, who was in Tampa, Fla. this week to consult with USF officials, said his consulting work at South Florida was not completed and he is scheduled to return to USF for one more session.