UPDATED 6:03 p.m. ET: Leigh Steinberg, agent for Jones, posted the following on his blog regarding the negotiations with Arizona State, and what’s been rumored as a pulled offer on the part of ASU. The headline? ”Bizarre Experience in Negotiating”:
“Just had one of the most bizarre endings to a set of productive discussions to bring a client to a new situation. Everything was set, few tweaks left, and the principal decision maker yanks the deal w/no real explanation.”
UPDATED 5:14 p.m. ET: Jones-to-ASU is officially dead according to one high-ranking ASU official.
“June Jone is not going to be our coach. The process continues,” said Steve Patterson, ASU’s Chief operating officer, in comments made to Fox 26 Sports in Houston.
No reason was given for the sudden and unexpected change from where talks were headed Wednesday morning.
UPDATED 4:48 p.m. ET: That process of hammering out the final details of a contract? There’s apparently been a snag to the talks that threatens to scuttle Jones’ expected move to the desert.
On Twitter, Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic writes that ASU “has broken off talks (for now) with SMU coach June Jones.” Schad tweeted that “[a] contractual agreement between June Jones and Arizona State has not been completed and now it may not be at all.” For what it’s worth, we have been unable to confirm the talks have actually hit a snag.
As Ben noted Tuesday, and amid rumors he was being wooed by Arizona State, the agent for SMU head coach June Jones was quoted as saying his client was “happy” in his current situation and no announcement was imminent.
Ladies and gentlemen, a day later we give you reason No. 3,784 why you should never believe anything an agent says publicly this time of the year.
A source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to CFT that the hiring of Jones by the Sun Devils is indeed imminent and could be announced as early as today. CBS Sports.com and ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad are also reporting that Jones will be ASU’s next head coach.
The two sides are currently in the process of hammering out the final details of a contract, or were as of late this morning. How soon all of the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed will determine when the official announcement is made.
Jones would replace Dennis Erickson, who was dismissed by the school following a late-season collapse that saw the Sun Devils lose their last four games and a shot at a berth in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game.
After taking Hawaii to a BcS game during his nine years with the Warriors, Jones returned to the mainland in 2008 to take over at SMU. A one-win first season with the Mustangs gave way to 22 wins the past three years and the football program’s first three bowl berths since being hit with the death penalty in the mid-80s.