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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Oct. 31

Pressure has eased on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen after the Kentucky win, but there is still tons of chatter. As we’ve mentioned previously, if they make a move, expect ULL’s Mark Hudspeth to get first call.

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen (Photo: Kerry Smith, AP)Mack Brown’s future at Texas could hinge on the Baylor game. A bad loss could spell the end – even if the Horns finish 9-3.

It’s no secret that their top target is Nick Saban. Other early names to watch include Art Briles, Jimbo Fisher, Charlie Strong and Jon Gruden.

Speaking of Gruden… This year could finally be the year he returns to coaching. However, the most likely landing spot may be his old stomping ground. There’s lots of chatter Gruden could return to the Raiders with full control over the front office.

Early names at Florida Atlantic include two first-year offensive coordinators with strong south Florida ties — Miami’s James Coley and Cincinnati’s Eddie Gran. Gran was a serious candidate when Carl Pelini was hired.

Expect staff changes at Appalachian State.

If a move is made to get rid if Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia, don’t be surprised if Rich Rod is a candidate to return home. It would definitely be interesting to watch the fan base’s reaction if that took place.

The Florida International job could open after just one year under Ron Turner.

There is major pressure building to oust Bo Pelini at Nebraska. He needs to win, badly. If he goes, former Husker quarterback and current Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost could be a candidate, although most think he needs a little more experience.

At USC, Jack Del Rio is still very much in the mix. Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter is also getting some attention as a fall back option.

Most believe Pat Haden’s early targets will be bigger names and will likely have NFL experience.

At Toledo, second-year coach Matt Campbell has signed extension through the 2017 season.

Campbell was promoted from offensive coordinator when Tim Beckman took the job at Illinois. The Rockets are 14-7 under his watch, including a 5-3 record and 3-1 in the MAC this year.

There are lots of rumors that Boise State’s Chris Petersen may finally be ready to finally make a move.

Photo credit: Kerry Smith, AP

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Report: Oliver Luck expected to be named Texas AD

We reported last night that Texas’ search to replace DeLoss Dodds as athletics director was focused on Oliver Luck, and if all goes as planned, it looks like Luck’s hiring could be official by the middle of November.

Oliver Luck is expected to be named Texas' AD.OliveOrangebloods.com’s Chip Brown cites multiple sources as indicating that Luck’s name topped a list of potential candidates submitted to a seven-member UT advisory committee by search firm Korn/Ferry International.

According to Brown:

Those sources say Luck is the frontrunner from a group of names put forth by the search firm Korn/Ferry International to the advisory committee last week that also includes Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson, who got his law degree at Texas.

Luck’s interview with the committee could come as early as this week. If all goes as expected, a contract could be finalized Nov. 13 or 14, when Texas regents are already scheduled to meet.

Nothing is expected to be announced before Texas and West Virginia meet in Morgantown on Nov. 9.

But the Mountaineers have a bye week after their game at Kansas on Nov. 16, so an official announcement could come then.

Luck, the father of former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, has strong ties to Texas — both the state and the University. He played quarterback for the Houston Oilers, earned his law degree from the University of Texas, and was general manager of the Houston Dynamo of MLS.

In addition to Luck and Patterson, other names floated as possible replacements for Dodds were Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione.

Photo credit: Charleston (W.V.) Daily Mail

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Oct. 28

It’s not exactly at shock that Bo Pelini’s Nebraska is going to lose at least four games this season (he always does), but we really didn’t expect one of them to be Minnesota.

Are there enough "Bo-lievers" to save the Nebraska coach?

Are there enough “Bo-lievers” to save the Nebraska coach?

Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised. @GarrettGordon reports this is the fifth consecutive season a ranked Nebraska team has lost to an unranked opponent.

Pelini entered the season on the hot seat after last season’s meltdown in the B1G Championship Game when his team gave up 70 to Wisconsin.

Then, in September, an audio tape surfaced where Pelini ripped both the media and Cornhuskers’ fans after a 2011 game. The best line was reserved for the Husker faithful: “It took everything in my power to not say, ‘F— you, fans. F— all of you.’ F— ‘em.”

Nebraska can beat every opponent left on it’s schedule. The Huskers could also lose four more. More than likely, they’ll split the difference and end up with four losses just as they have in each of the past five seasons under Pelini.

We think that gets him fired.

Dana Holgorsen won ten games in his first season at West Virginia — but that was in the Big East.

In 2012, WVU moved to the Big 12 and the record dropped to 7-6. The Mountaineers are now 3-5 and could potentially lose out.

Sources tell us that 5-7 probably earns Holgorsen a pink slip. The only wild card is A.D. Oliver Luck. As we mentioned yesterday, he very well could be headed to Texas.

How does that affect Holgorsen? we don’t know yet but it’s an interesting wildcard.

Mack Brown helped his cause once again with an impressive win over TCU. The Longhorns figure to throttle both Kansas and West Virginia over the next two weeks to get to 7-2.

Then, the rubber meets the road.

Texas ends the season with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and at Baylor.

The Baylor game could very well decide the Big 12. A Longhorns win and it’s hard to see a change. A bad loss makes the situation much more dicey.

Despite big wins in the last two, this soap opera is a long way from over.

USC wants (and needs?) to make a big splash with their hire. Mike Riley’s name was floating around last week, and Jack Del Rio was hot for awhile. So were Kevin Sumlin and James Franklin.

We think Pat Haden is likely doing due diligence on several candidates and will move quickly once the season ends to fill the position.

Virginia A.D. Craig Littlepage announced less than two weeks ago that coach Mike London would return next season, but we all now how much mid-season declarations of safety mean.

Littlepage made those statements before the Wahoos lost to Duke and Georgia Tech, bringing the losing streak to five, and UVa’s overall record to 2-6. With games against Clemson, at North Carolina and Miami, and the season finale vs. Virginia Tech remaining, winning one more to finish 3-9 may be a stretch.

Sources close to London indicate they believe the Cavs coach is safe for another season. Others aren’t so sure.

Regardless of what Littlepage said publicly, we’re told London is not out the woods. A 2-10 season almost has to bring a change, so there’s a good chance this one opens.

We’ve heard rumblings that Kansas could replace Charlie Weis after just two seasons, and those rumors are picking up steam.

The Jayhawks fired a religious fanatic after two seasons and replaced him with Satan’s brother.

Perhaps KU should try looking for someone a little more “normal”?

We told you about the hell Southern Miss is in in Friday’s Rumor Mill, and after this weekend, the Golden Eagles have now lost 19 straight. This week was a 55-14 thrashing by North Texas, on Homecoming no less…

Quick Hitters

Iowa State: We’re told, at a minimum, to expect staff changes.

North Texas: Lots of chatter here. Some think Dan McCarney could hang it up after the season.

Purdue: Look for staff changes. Possibly several.

Florida Atlantic: Expect staff changes on the defensive side of the ball.

Photo credit: Nati Harnik, AP

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Texas AD search focused on one name

Texas’ search for a new A.D. is seems to still focused on one name.

West Virginia AD Oliver Luck (AP Photo)

West Virginia A,D. Oliver Luck

Ever since DeLoss Dodds announced his pending retirement on Sept. 30, the hunt for his replacement has been centered around West Virginia’s Oliver Luck.

According to the Dallas Morning News’ Chuck Carlton, nothing has happened to change that.

West Virginia’s football problems and WVU’s Tier 3 media rights bid snafu this past spring haven’t knocked the shine off Luck’s star. And Texas’ on the field issues haven’t made the job any less impressive to top candidates, either.

UT hired Korn/Ferry International to handle the search, but Carlton hints that KFI won’t have to spend a lot of time vetting candidates. A job like Texas doesn’t exactly require a shotgun approach.

For his part, Luck has been non-committal when asked about the job.

According to Carlton, Texas could move quickly — perhaps within a couple of weeks of the Longhorns’ Nov. 9 date with WVU. If it does, Luck will almost certainly be the choice.

If the search goes on, it may mean the Horns are headed in a different direction.

Photo credit: Associated Press

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Update: Texas, Major Applewhite situation

The Texas Board of Regents recommended no further disciplinary action toward Major Applewhite. (Photo: US Presswire)

The Texas Board of Regents recommended no further disciplinary action toward Major Applewhite. (Photo: US Presswire)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he University of Texas Board of Regents held a special meeting Sunday afternoon to discuss Longhorn offensive coordinator Major Applewhite’s “inappropriate, consensual” relationship with a female UT student.

The incident occurred during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl festivities, and Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said in a statement that Applewhite admitted to impropriety when the situation came to light and had been disciplined. The female was reportedly a trainer for the Longhorn football team, and Applewhite’s discipline included an 11-month salary freeze.

The Board met for more than two hours via conference call and recommended no further disciplinary action against Applewhite. UT system chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and board chairmain Gene Powell said in a statement (below) that the Board will conduct a review of all policies regarding relationships between UT employees and students, to including disciplinary actions and procedures.

The Applewhite story apparently came to light now – four years later – in the wake of Texas women’s track coach Bev Kearney’s resignation last month. Kearney admitted to having a long-standing intimate relationship with one of her track athletes and surrendered her duties as coach.

According to sources, Texas officials received word that Kearney’s attorney learned about the Applewhite situation and planned to take the story public as part of Kearney’s legal strategy. UT beat them to the punch with the Friday night announcement.

With no further disciplinary action planned, the ball now appears to be in Kearney’s court. Will she move forward with some kind of legal action against the school? If so, will Texas settle the matter or choose to fight what would likely become a very public battle?

Those questions remain to be answered, but as many struggles as the Horns have had both on and off the field of late, the last thing Texas needs is an off-season filled this kind of headlines.

 


Statement from UT System chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and board chairmain Gene Powell:

As leaders of The University of Texas System, our chief concern is and always will be the safety and welfare of the students at our 15 institutions. The No. 1 priority of all UT administrative leaders, faculty, staff and athletic personnel should be protecting our students and ensuring that their experience at any UT institution is a positive and safe one.

Today, we are announcing that Paul Foster, First Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents, will lead a dedicated and focused effort to review and study all policies in place concerning relationships between UT employees and students at all 15 UT institutions. The review will include policies concerning disciplinary actions and procedures as well as compliance with policies for immediate notification of institution administration and the Board of Regents whenever and wherever policies are violated. (Current UT System Rule 178 which went into effect November 1, 2012 covers these policies and requirements, but the rule will be reviewed for possible strengthening.)

We will reach out to national experts to assist in this review and will provide a timeline and announce more details over the next several days.

Our goal is to be both timely and thorough in building a model that can be used nationwide as an example of best practices in dealing with these critically important issues of student protection and student safety.

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Will the Major Applewhite story go away quietly?

Texas offensive coordinator Major Applewhite had an 'inappropriate, consensual' relationship with a student. (Photo: US Presswire)

Major Applewhite had an ‘inappropriate’ relationship with a student. (Photo: US Presswire)

[dropcap]U[/dropcap]niversity of Texas officials have clearly mastered the art of the Friday news dump.

Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds dropped a potential bombshell Friday evening, releasing a statement (below) that Longhorn offensive coordinator Major Applewhite engaged in “inappropriate, consensual behavior with an adult student.”

The statement said it was one-time incident that occurred during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl activities. Dodds said that he learned about the incident shortly after it happened and took immediate action to discipline Applewhite.

“We promptly initiated an inquiry with assistance from the university’s Legal Affairs office and other units outside of Athletics,” Dodds said in the statement. “Major admitted his inappropriate conduct and he was disciplined.”

Applewhite, who played quarterback at Texas from 1998-2001, was hired away from Alabama prior to the 2008 season and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2011. In a separate statement, Applewhite called the situation “regrettable” and said that he was “upfront and took full responsibility” for his actions.

“This is and was resolved four years ago with the University.” Applewhite said in a separate statement “Through counsel I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us. I am regretful for my mistake and humbled by this experience. I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment it has caused my friends, family, and the University.”

The story is coming to light now in the wake of another scandal between a Texas coach and a student. Earlier this month, Texas women’s track and field coach Bev Kearney resigned after admitting she had an “intimate consensual relationship” with a student-athlete.

The Texas Board of Regents has called a special meeting for Sunday, Feb. 3 to discuss the Applewhite situation.

The Applewhite and Kearney cases are clearly intertwined, and despite Dodds’ statement that Applewhite has punished appropriately, Austin American-Statesman columnist Cedric Golden believes the situation will not go away. According to Golden:

As part of his punishment, Applewhite had his paycheck frozen for nearly a year. But he kept his job, unlike Kearney who would have probably been fired had she not resigned. Kearney’s attorney Derek A. Howard raised the possibility of legal action in the days following her resignation and told media outlets he would file an open records request, presumably to examine punishments handed to male coaches and professors in similar positions.

Could a lawsuit by Kearney be in the offing? Its looks like a strong possibility.

If that’s the case, this might be one Friday news story that doesn’t go away quietly into the night.

 


Statement from DeLoss Dodds

“Major Applewhite engaged in inappropriate, consensual behavior with an adult student one time during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl activities. After learning of his behavior later that month, I took immediate action to review the situation. We promptly initiated an inquiry with assistance from the university’s Legal Affairs office and other units outside of Athletics. Major admitted his inappropriate conduct and he was disciplined. In determining appropriate discipline, we analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding the behavior and its relation to job responsibilities. Major fully accepted his discipline, including counseling. We have high standards for behavior and expect our staff and coaches to adhere to them in all aspects of their lives. I believe that the appropriate discipline was taken in this case.”

Statement from Major Applewhite

“Several years ago, I made a regretful decision resulting in behavior that was totally inappropriate. It was a one-time occurrence and was a personal matter. Shortly after it occurred, I discussed the situation with DeLoss Dodds. I was upfront and took full responsibility for my actions. This is and was resolved four years ago with the University. Through counsel I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us. I am regretful for my mistake and humbled by this experience. I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment it has caused my friends, family, and the University. I appreciate all of them. I’ve learned and grown from this and look forward to my work at Texas.”

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