The situation at Texas is nothing short of a soap opera.
Chip Brown at Orangebloods reported Tuesday that Mack Brown would step down as head coach. On Wednesday, he tweeted:
“My sources at the highest level of Texas have re-confirmed my report. I hope we can start talking about Mack Brown’s legacy at Texas soon.”
After the Orangebloods’ report, Mack responded by telling Horns247, “I’m in Florida recruiting. If I had decided to step down I sure wouldn’t be killing myself down here. I have not decided to step down.”
The Dallas Morning News says that the Texas coach and new athletic director Steve Patterson talked for about three hours Sunday and that nothing was decided.
The DMN also reports that Texas President Bill Powers’ infighting with Gov. Rick Perry over education policy and vision has led to a tenuous job status. Powers’ name and employment status are on the agenda for the Texas Board of Regents meeting Thursday.
Multiple sources tell us that Mack Brown’s firewall is Powers. Powers doesn’t like to be pushed around and apparently has no real desire fire Brown. Sources tell us that recruiting is progressing as usual and Texas coaches are still on the road. Brown was spotted at Miami Central High School last night with assistant Larry Porter.
Meanwhile in Tuscaloosa… NFL.com’s Gil Brandt reported that Nick Saban is in contract negotiations with Alabama for a salary around $7 million a year. According to our sources, ‘Bama thought the terms of an extension were pretty well all agreed to, but are now somewhat flummoxed that the situation hasn’t been resolved.
Athletic director Bill Battle was asked about Saban contract extension on Wednesday and replied, “We’re focused on recruiting and playing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.”
Okay. Whatever that means.
Stefan Stevenson, the TCU beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reported that a “source close to Texas executive council of regents says Nick Saban will be next Longhorns coach.”
We don’t have any reason to believe that’s accurate, certainly not at this point.
Our sources tell us they believe Saban will remain at Alabama, but nobody really knows for sure what’s next.
On the Texas front, our sources are split down the middle.
Some believe that the longer Brown staying in place, the better his chances for survival. The Longhorns are scheduled host a recruiting weekend beginning Friday with several JUCO prospects on campus. They feel that there’s no way Brown hosts the weekend unless he’s returning.
Meanwhile, others seem to think Brown is staying in place until and unless Texas has a replacement lined up.
Sources Tuesday morning told us Texas didn’t want to make a move on Brown until the ‘Horns had a replacement in tow. Then, the Chip Brown story broke.
It’s seems pretty clear that Texas has no deal in place with anyone at the moment, and school officials are still trying to figure out how to deal with Brown, who refuses to resign.
In addition, Texas has a president who may not survive past Thursday coupled with a new athletic director who inherited a huge mess and leaks coming from every corner of the university from people with varying agendas.
The latest comes from Mack Brown’s longtime friend and attorney, Joe Jamail. He spoke with reporters late Wednesday and reiterated Brown has not made a decision as to his future. “He has not tendered his resignation and has not made a decision yet,” Jamail said. “He’ll make that decision sometime soon. “He has not decided yet. He’ll decide that on his own and all these reports are wrong.”
Our best guess as to what ultimately happens? Powers stays and they figure out a way to get Brown out the door with some sort of golden parachute. Jamail’s statement sounds as if this thing is moving toward a conclusion. However, everything could implode as well. Others think Brown won’t back down – no matter what.
Who would replace Brown? We continue to hear that Texas wants Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh or Jimbo Fisher.
However, we’re told Texas wants a coach in place quickly. If the Longhorns swing and miss on Saban, Harbaugh and Fisher won’t be available until January.
One thing is certain, something has to give.