Rumors are coming out of Austin today that Texas Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds could be stepping down at the end of the year, according to a report by Chip Brown on Orangebloods.com. Of course, the athletic department has been in full public relations mode, vehemently denying the rumors, but I wouldn’t be so quick to accept their denials. If the old adage, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire,” holds true in this case, it seems that something very well may have been set into motion; now we just have to sit back and watch how it all unfolds over the next several months.
Dodds has run the Longhorns athletic department for the last 32 years. In that time, he has helped to make the Longhorns one of the best programs in the country. Over the last few seasons, however, those programs that recently stood at the top of the college sports world have vastly underperformed.
There is no denying that in his prime Dodds was among the elite in the “who’s who” of college athletics. During his time at Texas, his programs have won a total of 108 conference championships and 14 national titles. He is also responsible for making the Longhorn brand the most profitable in college sports for the last eight years as well as the creation of the Longhorn Network. He has no doubt been the driving force behind the Longhorn Empire.
If these rumors indeed prove to be true, what could that mean for the future of Texas athletics? It could mean the most historic overhaul in nearly two decades.
First and foremost, one would think that if Dodds does retire in December, head football coach Mack Brown likely won’t be far behind. Along with the Dodds rumors, many insiders claim that this could be Brown’s least season in Austin as well, no matter how it ends. If that is the case, Texas could be planning the next chapter in the football program’s storied history sooner than previously anticipated.
It could also mean that the basketball team, which has vastly underperformed over the last several seasons under coach Rick Barnes, could be looking to bring in someone new as well. Barnes has recruited well and taken the Horns to the next level, but after a disastrous couple of seasons with no real hope in sight for the future, his days in Austin could be numbered.
Then there is Augie Garrido and the Longhorn baseball team. If you can believe it, the baseball program has even higher expectations year in, year out than the football program. Garrido has won two national titles in the last eleven seasons and led the Horns on several trips to Omaha for the College World Series, but in the last two years the Longhorns have struggled greatly, which is completely unheard of and unacceptable on the Forty Acres. As a result, many believe that it could also be time to bring in new blood to the diamond.
Again, we are still in the rumors stage and the athletic department is in full denial mode, but with all the smoke, one has to wonder if there isn’t truly a fire.
If the rumors turn into reality and Dodds is truly in his final months as the University of Texas athletic director, Texas Longhorn fans are in for a very crazy ride over the next several months.
Hold on tight; things are just getting started.