A week after giving embattled (or is it beleaguered?) head coach Mike Sherman the dreaded vote of confidence, Texas A&M president R. Bowen “Putz” Loftin was noncommittal on the coach’s future at the school earlier this week.
Rumors swirled Thursday that Sherman was on his way out, with one report surfacing that he had requested a meeting with a member of the school’s Board of Regents in an attempt to save his job. According to one report, that effort was in vain.
On Twitter just a short time ago, Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman tweeted that “A&M has decided to fire football Mike Sherman but has not yet notified him.” Bohls cited a prominent Aggies source for the information.
“The decision was made today,” the source told Bohls in a subsequent post that appears on the American-Statesman website.
Bohls went on to state that Houston’s Kevin Sumlin would emerge as the frontrunner as Sherman’s replacement. Earlier today, the Arizona Republic reported that Sumlin had officially been offered the Arizona State job; a source told CFT, and other outlets reported it as well, that that was not the case.
One of the reasons A&M has reportedly been shy about pulling the trigger on Sherman’s firing is that it’s been thought he would be owed nearly $9 million. That coupled with A&M’s exit fee before they flee the Big 12 for the SEC — thought to be as little as $9 million or as much as $28 million — had some thinking Sherman would receive a reprieve on financial considerations alone.
However, Bohls tweeted that Sherman would be owed “between $3M-$5M because he didn’t sign his contract extension.”
School officials have not responded to a CFT email requesting a response to the report. An official announcement, per Bohls, is expected to come in the next 24 hours.
UPDATED 8:29 p.m. ET: A&M has released a statement from athletic director Bill Byrne confirming that Sherman will not be retained, effective immediately, and that an interim coach will be in charge of the Aggies for the bowl game. Byrne’s statement appears below.
“Mike Sherman has operated our football program with the highest levels of character and integrity over the past four seasons and has served as a great ambassador for Texas A&M University. Mike has always put the welfare of the student-athlete and Texas A&M first.
“I appreciate Coach Sherman’s selfless service to Texas A&M as our head football coach and his tireless efforts in building leaders of character. He is truly one of the great offensive minds in football, both collegiate and professional, and I know that he has much to offer the game of football in the future.
“After discussions with our coaches, we will decide who will be the interim coach of the Aggies in our upcoming bowl game. We will meet with the team and assistant coaches as soon as possible, probably tomorrow.”