GREEN BAY – Rumors that Green Bay Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy would consider leaving his current post to return to college administration are simply that, according to the team's director of public affairs, Aaron Popkey.
According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Murphy could be a candidate for the vacant Stanford University athletic director job. The report stated that Murphy is rumored to be a candidate but does not cite any school or NFL sources on whether he is indeed interested in the position.
In an email, Popkey said Murphy was out of the office for Tuesday's NFL owners meeting in Atlanta and dismissed talk that Murphy might be interested in the Stanford job.
"Mark’s at an NFL meeting and not available today. With regard to the speculation, it’s simply just that. There’s no basis to it," Popkey wrote.
With Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long and West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck – the father of Stanford’s most recent famous alum, new Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck – both having said they're not in the running, Murphy's name came up.
Such a move isn't entirely ridiculous. Before being hired to replace retiring Bob Harlan in December 2007, Murphy served as athletic director at Colgate, his alma mater (1992 through 2003), and at Northwestern (2003 through 2007). Both of those schools have very high academic reputations, as does Stanford.
In addition, a source said Monday morning that Murphy wanted the AD job at Stanford the last time it was open, in 2006. Stanford hired Bob Bowlsby, who had been the athletic director at Iowa.
Bowlsby is leaving Stanford to become commissioner of the Big 12 Conference on June 15.
An interview request placed with a Packers spokesman for Murphy, who delivered the commencement address at Colgate’s graduation on Sunday, has not yet been granted.
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