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Will Heath Shuler Bail on Congress for AD Job at UT?

Well, it’s one way to avoid losing your seat in a potential redistricting fight. Plus, it proves there are cooler and more powerful jobs than “Congressman” still out there.

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) is not shooting down a local news report that he’s considering an end to his congressional career.

Shuler, a Blue Dog Democrat in his third term, is eying the open athletic director position at the University of Tennessee, where he was a star quarterback for their powerhouse football program, Tony Basilio, a radio host with Knoxville-based WLVZ, reported this week.

Basilio said Shuler has approached several former UT football coaches – including Phillip Fulmer and Johnny Majors – about the athletic director position, which opened up this month following the exit of Mike Hamilton.

“Yes, Shuler is in play,” Basilio wrote on his blog Tuesday. “Yes he did call Phillip Fulmer and Johnny Majors to get their thoughts on this potential opportunity but he hasn’t been offered the job. In fact, Tennessee hasn’t ‘offered’ the job to anybody as of yet.”

Basilio said Shuler “has expressed the desire for a couple of concessions if he were to leave the US Congress to do this” – including “a long-term contract” of at least seven years.

If Shuler were to take the UT job, it might be the first and only time in his life he got the chance to leave Washington, DC on his own terms.

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