This certainly came from out of (almost) nowhere.
In a press release sent out right around three p.m. ET, Indiana announced that it “will make a major announcement in regard to the football program at 6 pm on Thursday, Dec. 1.” While the nature of the major announcement wasn’t specified, the Indianapolis Star subsequently reported that IU will announce the dismissal of Wilson at the press conference.
FootballScoop.com described the situation as Wilson “stepping down,” although that coud merely be semantics. The following tweet and a portion of a report from ESPN.com‘s Mark Schlabach, below that, however, certainly adds a layer of intrigue:
A source has told me it is because of an off the field issue but that’s all I’ve heard
— Terry Hutchens (@IndySportsHutch) December 1, 2016
A former Hoosiers player told ESPN on Thursday that he and at least five current IU players were interviewed about Wilson’s treatment of players in meetings with athletics department officials and university lawyers during the past two weeks.
Regardless of how it’s officially couched, it appears the Hoosiers will be embarking on a search to replace Wilson.
In his sixth season with the football program, Wilson has guided the team to a 26-47 record overall and a 12-37 mark in Big Ten play. Wilson had won six games each of the past two seasons, and the 4-5 record in the conference in 2016 was the best of his tenure.
In January of this year, IU announced that Wilson had signed a new six-year deal that nearly doubled his salary from $1.3 million to $2.55 million annually. The buyout details weren’t available weren’t available at the time, but we’ve since been informed that the number is just south of $2.8 million if the dismissal is without cause. However, based on the rumors that are flying around, with cause seems a morely likely outcome.