Last night brought word that Charlie Strong had snubbed Tennessee’s offer, with the coach confirming publicly Thursday morning that he will remain at Louisville armed with a shiny new deal.
As the Vols continue their quest to replace Derek Dooley, it appears a look back to Stillwater will no longer be an option at their disposal.
For the past week or so, Mike Gundy‘s name had been connected to the vacancies at UT and Arkansas. Whether it’s merely being used as leverage for an even bigger contract from Oklahoma State or sincere interest in something other than his current program, the speculation concerning Gundy was out there even as the coach remained mum on its validity.
Wednesday night, a man very familiar with Gundy looked to tamp out any flicker of the rumor mill fire still burning around the coach.
“I’ve got some news. Mike Gundy is staying at Oklahoma State,” Stillwater radio personality Robert Allen said Wednesday. “I know that Mike Gundy has decided not to pursue any other opportunities and decided to stay.”
While normally a radio station report should be taken with a grain of salt the size of T. Boone Pickens‘ bank account, Allen co-authored a book last year with Gundy, so his knowledge dropping carries a significant amount of weight. It doesn’t, though, answer the question of why Gundy has apparently been sniffing around other jobs.
Tulsa World‘s Jimmie Tramel writes that the Gundy speculation is not centered on the coach leveraging a new deal; rather, “he isn’t satisfied with the control he has over certain aspects of his program, including scheduling.” A source went on to tell Tramel that “[s]omething needs to happen within the athletic department regarding the relationship between the head coach and the athletic director.”
A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.
Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”
Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”
“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.
The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.
Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.
“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”
That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.