And the denials have begun to flow out of Austin.
A report that a decision on Mack Brown‘s future would be decided in the next 48 hours was quickly trumped by a separate report that Brown had decided to step down as the head football coach at Texas.
The university, through a school official, has quickly denied the report. Citing a Texas source, Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com tweeted that Brown “hasn’t had any meeting & has not told anyone he’s stepping down.”
Now, the coach himself, who is in Florida on a recruiting trip, has weighed in.
“I’m in Florida recruiting. If I had decided to step down I sure wouldn’t be killing myself down here,” Brown told 247Sports.com. “I have not decided to step down.”
Is it possible that the decision has already been made for Brown and he doesn’t know it yet? Certainly anything is possible, especially when it comes to the unique dynamic that is UT athletics and the myriad people who pull the strings in the state.
How unique? ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad wrote that “[t]he University of Texas Board of Regents has a critical meeting Thursday at which the future of President Bill Powers is to be discussed, which could affect the fate of Longhorns coach Mack Brown.”
As we wrote earlier, and to put these denials into perspective, Orangeblood.com‘s Chip Brown, who is reporting that Brown has decided to retire, reported back in mid-September that DeLoss Dodds would be stepping down as UT’s athletic director; the school and Dodds vehemently denied the report almost immediately. Two weeks later, Dodds announced he would be stepping down as UT’s athletic director.
In other words, take any denials coming from in and around the university without size grain of salt you deem necessary.
Baylor’s on-going scandal over reported sexual assaults looks like it is about to get even uglier.
Former head coach Art Briles has filed a lawsuit for libel and slander against three school regents and a vice president, according to the Associated Press, accusing them of falsely stating he knew of sexual assaults by players and didn’t report them.
Perhaps most eyebrow-raising is that the lawsuit also accuses the officials of conspiring to keep him from getting another coaching job. Briles has been connected to openings such as the one at Houston but school officials quickly denied reports that he was formally considered for the vacant head coaching spot.
Briles was fired in the spring by Baylor after an investigation from law firm Pepper Hamilton determined the school mishandled reports of alleged sexual assaults, some of which involved numerous football players. The coach denied he knew about the alleged assaults but several regents — including the three named in the recent lawsuit — told the Wall Street Journal on the record that Briles failed to report alleged assaults.
While the football team may be looking to move on from all of this with the recent hire of Matt Rhule as the new head coach, it appears the school itself will continue to deal with the fallout from one of the worst scandals in college football history.
College football recruiting has kicked into full gear the past few weeks and one of the more interesting decisions this month that could have a big impact on next season is finding out which school former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham will be playing for in 2017.
The signal-caller threw for 12 touchdowns and over 1,200 yards after taking over as the Bears starter midway through last year but he opted to transfer away from the program this summer when Art Briles was fired as the result of a sexual assault scandal at the school. While many have considered SEC schools such as Auburn, Texas A&M and Florida to be the favorites to land the coveted junior college QB, there may be another school that is in the running too: whichever program hires Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles.
“KB is my dude,” Stidham told ESPN.com. “I’m super tight with him. I still talk to him all the time. I’m still waiting to see what happens with him and where he might go and just take it into consideration.”
It remains to be seen if new head coach Matt Rhule will retain the younger Briles but it seems unlikely given the events in Waco the past six months and the school likely wanting a complete divorce from the previous regime. Kendal Briles own job prospects seem a bit unknown given everything at play but it could be an interesting combination for a head coach looking to jump start an offense.
There’s always talk of package deals in college basketball but this would be a potential one in football that may draw some interest.
And that’s the way it was, at least as it pertains to the Florida portion of Jordan Cronkrite‘s collegiate playing career.
Thursday, the Gators announced that Cronkrite has been granted permission to pursue other opportunities. The release from his scholarship will afford the running back the opportunity to transfer elsewhere.
If that elsewhere is at the FBS, the sophomore would have to sit out the 2017 season. He’d then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.
Cronkrite was a four-star 2015 recruit who was rated as the No. 34 player at any position in the state of Florida.
As a true freshman, Cronkrite ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries. This past season, he carried the ball 31 times for 145 yards and a touchdown. His 20 receptions were fourth on the Gators.