This must be the week for TV commentators to return to the basketball court. ESPNU's Tim Welsh, the former Providence and Iona coach, interviewed for the Hofstra job Tuesday, Newsday has learned.

At a time when St. John's is poised to hire ESPN's Steve Lavin, Hofstra athletic director Jack Hayes had a sitdown with Welsh to discuss his prospects as a possible successor to Tom Pecora, who recently took the Fordham job. Welsh also has been mentioned as a candidate at Siena since Fran McCaffery left to take the Iowa job.

Welsh has worked for ESPN the past two seasons since his dismissal at Providence, where he lasted 10 years. During that time, he had five winning seasons and received two NCAA bids and three NIT bids. In three seasons at Iona, Welsh took the Gaels to one NCAA tournaments and two NITs.

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Because of his longstanding recruiting ties in the area and relatively short time away from the game, Welsh would be considered a high-profile replacement for Pecora. The question is whether he would command a salary approaching the $400,000 Pecora was making at the time of his departure.

A school official declined to confirm the names of other possible candidates because they have jobs elsewhere. But a source said Quinnipiac's Tom Moore and former Virginia coach Dave Leitao likely are on the list. Also, Cornell's Steve Donahue has approached several schools for interviews.