Georgia State names interim AD

Bharath Parthasarathy was named Georgia State’s interim athletic director by President Mark Becker on Thursday.

Parthasarathy is deputy general counsel at the university and has worked extensively with athletics on contracts. He was hired by Georgia State in September 2007 as assistant legal advisor and has twice been promoted.

“He knows the business details and knows the people,” Becker said. “He has a deep knowledge.”

Cheryl Levick, the school’s athletic director for the past five years, will transition to a new role assisting Becker next week.

Parthasarathy graduated from North Carolina in 2002 and received his juris doctor degree from Emory in 2005.

“It’s a great day to be a Georgia State Panther,” Parthasarathy said. “Everyone is excited, mainly because everyone is excited to move forward looking for the next AD.”

Using Parker Executive Search, Becker said he hopes to have the next athletic director hired by the end of the summer.

He said they are receiving strong interest, much stronger than five years ago.

Parthasarathy has served on the Institutional Review Board, Centennial Planning Committee and the Rhodes/Marshall/Mitchell Scholarship Selection Committee at Georgia State.

Parthasarathy, who said he has no interest in becoming the athletic director, described his role over the next few months as “making sure the trains run on time and tell the story of Georgia State athletics so that everyone is super-excited for the fall.”

Parthasarathy praised the work done by Levick, saying athletics has done nothing but grow.

He said he will meet with every coach and every senior-level employee in athletics to go over the plans that must be accomplished within the next two months to ensure that all athletes and coaches have the tools needed to succeed.

“I’m just a small bridge to the person that will lead us into the future,” he said.

Turner Field update: Becker said the university isn’t far along in the feasibility study for the proposal to buy Turner Field and the surrounding area, but he is confident the project is within their financial capability.

Becker unveiled the proposal, which included mixed-use retail, dorms and residential living, in May with a proposed price tag of $300 million, a portion of which Georgia State would be responsible for.

“We are in a mode where we think we have the best proposal and we have to go forward with working on the feasibility study,” Becker said.

The biggest unknowns remain the Braves’ pending decision on the lease on the stadium, which has a deadline of the end of 2015, the cost of the converting Turner Field into a football/soccer stadium, and when the bidding process will begin on the property.

Becker said they don’t yet know if they can get into Turner Field to determine the expense and possibility of retro-fitting or tearing down the stadium.

He said the project would be paid for from a variety of sources.

“The numbers aren’t numbers that we expect to choke on,” Becker said.

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