Most people chuckled and/or openly guffawed at the rumor that surfaced Friday night that Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops “may have the inside track on the Cleveland Browns opening.”
Given the chance twice Friday to shoot the speculation down, Stoops instead decided to play coy with the media. And, in the process, perhaps added a little fuel to whatever fire may be burning underneath the speculative smoke.
On the Dan Patrick Show, Stoops and the host discussed the rumors connecting him to the NFL opening in Cleveland. The transcript of that exchange appears below.
“I never acknowledge or deny whether anybody’s contacted me or not. It’s something publicly I don’t do one way or the other. You never know what’ll come your way. In life, things change from year to year. Right now, I love what I’m doing. Right now, it’s something I’m not looking to pursue. You never know down the road.”
Whether “down the road” means next year or next week — or never — remains to be seen.
Later, similar questions were posed to Stoops by beat writers who cover the football program regarding the NFL speculation. The coach’s response to the local media?
“You never know,” Stoops said according to the Daily Oklahoman before being pressed further on the issue.
Asked if it’s all speculation, Stoops said, “There’s a lot of that.”
So is that all this is?
“Sure,” Stoops said.
As noted by John Hoover of the Tulsa World, however, Stoops also gave every indication he’s staying by saying there is “more to come” at Oklahoma and appears to be focused on the Sooners’ 2014 recruiting class.
“I think we’re in great shape, what we’re hearing and the way we’re communicating with guys,” Stoops said. “Hopefully, that all comes to fruition here in the next few days.”
In fairness to this entire situation and all involved, Stoops wouldn’t be the first college coach to leave for the Browns while still talking up his next recruiting class right up to the last minute. Speaking of which, what exactly is Butch Davis up to these days…