What, you thought this story was going to go away?
Sunday night, SI.com‘s Peter King stated very emphatically on Twitter that “Jon Gruden is not going to the University of Miami. Period.” Gruden himself released a statement shortly after the tweet that was, basically, a non-denial denial of interest in the job.
Apparently, though, the past 48 hours have brought about a dramatic and potentially program-changing shift to the situation.
According to a report on the Rivals.com website CaneSport.com, and we’re quoting here, “final details are being hammered out and, barring a last minute [sic] glitch, Jon Gruden will be the next Miami Hurricanes football coach.” The site goes on to write that “[d]etails are being finalized tonight and if athletic director Kirby Hocutt and Gruden can work out all details then an announcement could be made as soon as Wednesday.”
The site also reported that Gruden’s brother Jay is expected to become the Hurricanes’ offensive coordinator.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel‘s Steve Gorten is also reporting much of the same information, tweeting that, according to two sources close to the situation, Hocutt and Gruden are meeting Wednesday to finalize the details of a contract. In a separate report, a university source told Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post that the pursuit of Gruden “is not yet over.”
Attempts to reach both ESPN officials and Gruden’s agent for comment have been unsuccessful thus far.
Obviously, this latest report should be taken with a grain of salt the size of a life-sized Chucky doll as this would be at least the fourth time since Randy Shannon was fired Saturday night that a Gruden hiring was imminent. Still, there’s enough smoke with this situation — and no outright denials from anyone directly involved — that there’s a fire of truth burning somewhere in the haze of speculation.
UPDATED 9:44 p.m. ET: ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer sent the following response to PFT‘s Mike Florio regarding the latest round of reports.
“I have seen the reports. Will let you know if we have anything on this but right now we don’t have further comment beyond what we issued the other day.”