Since Texas Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds announced that he would soon step down from the position he’s filled for the past 32 years, rumors have been swirling around Austin as to whom would take his place.
It has long been believed that Oliver Luck, the current athletic director of the West Virginia Mountaineers, is the frontrunner to land the job. In fact, some will tell you that it’s all but a done deal and that the school is merely waiting to make a formal announcement thought to be coming within the next month. However, amid all the smoke surrounding Luck, other names have risen to the surface as well, only to be shot down soon afterward.
Though not as strong, there have also been rumors that Steve Patterson, athletic director for the Arizona State Sun Devils and a Univeristy of Texas alum, was being interviewed for the position. However, azcentral.com posted a report yesterday that Patterson has chosen turn down the position at his alma mater to stay in Arizona. Texas sources, however, indicated soon after that the report was erroneous and that Patterson was never even offered the job.
This afternoon, Kirk Bohls, the Longhorn beat writer for The Austin American Statesman, tweeted out that the Ohio State Buckeyes athletic director, Gene Smith, was also being considered to fill the role. Just moments later, however, Smith issued the following statement:
I have the greatest respect for the University of Texas and one of my mentors, DeLoss Dodds. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be the athletics director at The Ohio State University. Reports of me interviewing at the University of Texas are inaccurate.
We all know that one can only take public comments with a grain of salt, and athletic departments often twist words and statements to avoid potential controversies, but these recent denials seem to strengthen the case that the Longhorns do indeed have their man, and that–for now– man appears to be Oliver Luck.
But stay tuned.