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Gruden “Open To Hearing” About College Job… Thank Goodness The Suckers In This Story Aren’t In The SEC

gruden-teases-shows-leg-flirtsWow, it really is a day of tried-and-true sports stories.  See if you’ve heard this one before: Jon Gruden is “open to hearing” from a college about its head coaching vacancy.

Someone alert the press!  Wait, Gruden’s agent has already taken care of that.  Again.

In this case, — the site covering Texas athletics — has reported that the ex-NFL coach and current ESPN broadcaster “is open to hearing from the Texas athletic department.”  This from a high-level source.

The source went on to say that Gruden views the Texas job as one of the few “premier” coaching jobs in college football.  He also gave another reason for Gruden’s alleged interest… and for Texas’ need to go BIG:


“It’s Austin.  It’s not like any other city in Texas, or anywhere, really.  It’s a destination, but with the state capitol, the university, the politics and the media, it’s the eye of a hurricane.

(James) Franklin, (Jim) Mora, they are great coaches — but stepping into this sort of situation for the first time?  You’re going to have limited success.”



Gruden has toyed with the hopes of so many schools at this point that, quite frankly, we’re sorta/kinda sick of his act at this point.  Last year, the SEC version of “UT” called Gruden about their then-open gig.  Gruden — who reportedly viewed Tennessee as a “premier” job because he’d coached there and because his wife has family there — played footsie with intermediaries before saying, “no thanks,” when he got an actual call from Vol athletic director Dave Hart.

Gruden likes to have his name kicked around because it keeps him “hot” in coaching circles.  Fair enough.  But there’s about as much chance of Sam Houston or Davy Crockett coaching the Longhorns next year as there is of Gruden taking the job.

It was just 14 days ago that Southern Cal athletic director Pat Haden said: “I talked with Jon a while back.  He wants to coach in the pros.  If he’s a head coach, he wants to coach in the pros.”

So good luck, Texas.  You’re the suckers of the month in the Great Gruden Grab.  He’ll wind up with a new contract from ESPN and you’ll wind up with a disappointed fanbase when a Franklin or a Mora is introduced.  We’ve seen this one play out one too many times to put any stock in it whatsoever.

(Which guarantees Gruden will take the job.)

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Weep, College Fans… Gruden Wants To Coach In The Pros

JON-gruden-helmet-your-logoNewsflash: Jon Gruden isn’t coming to your school any time soon if Pat Haden is to be believed.  The Southern Cal athletic director said on “The Dan Patrick Show” yesterday that he contacted the coach-turned-announcer about the Trojans’ opening before hiring Steve Sarkisian from Washington.

“I talked with Jon a while back,” Haden said.  “He wants to coach in the pros.  If he’s a head coach, he wants to coach in the pros.”

Before anyone goes there — and someone will — that probably doesn’t mean he wants to be a coordinator or quarterbacks coach your alma mater, either.

Gruden has become the great white whale in collegiate searches.  One part Bigfoot — he’s “spotted” looking at schools and buying houses everywhere — the other part tease — he never states publicly that he’s not interested in college gigs — the ESPN broadcaster seems to just enjoy have his name kicked around.  Hey, who doesn’t want to be loved?

But the facts and Haden’s comments suggest Gruden won’t be taking any openings at Florida or Texas or Southern Cal.  He wouldn’t even take the Tennessee job where he coached and where his wife’s family resides (though you can be certain there are still one or two Vol fans who believe Butch Jones is just a ruse and that Gruden will eventually take over for him).

Time to nix Gruden from the list potential college coaches.  Ain’t happening.

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Lawyers Seek Coaches’ Texts In Vandy Rape Case

Vanderbilt_Franklin_Football_0d0c5This one’s just not going away, folks.

Tony Gonzalez of The Tennessean reports that “a new court filing in the case against four former Vanderbilt University football players charged with rape seeks evidence of text messages sent by coaches that lawyers for one of the ex-players think could shed light on what happened.”


While there have been rumors and speculation that coaches might have been involved in or had knowledge of the players’ attempted cover-up of the crime, this is the “first suggestion in court proceedings that members of the Vanderbilt staff might have had some level of involvement in the incident that would be relevant to the criminal investigation.”

According to the attorneys for ex-Commodore player Brandon Vandenburg, they have not been given access to all of the evidence in the case including “text messages from witnesses and coaches.”

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and VU athletic director David Williams declined comment on the court filing yesterday.  Vandy spokesperson Beth Fortune said via statement: “The issues raised by the latest court filing are a matter for the court to determine.  Vanderbilt has no role.”

In no way should this filing be taken as proof that Franklin or any of his assistants knew of the rape or attempted in any way to help their players cover-up the assault.  However, it does suggest that Vandenburg has informed his attorneys that he or someone else involved in the crime did have some level of text communication with “witnesses and coaches.”  The lawyers for Vandenburg could have easily said “witnesses” only.  Instead, the filing refers specifically to text messages from coaches as well.  It’s possible they could be fishing, but it’s more likely they believe some coach(es) spoke to some player(s).

It is hard to imagine employees at Vanderbilt attempting to aid in the cover-up of a crime, especially after the media tsunami that engulfed Penn State so recently.  At the same time, we are talking about human beings.  Human beings put into stressful situations sometimes do incredibly stupid things.  Pressure busts pipes, as they say.

For Franklin, this court filing couldn’t come at a worse time.  His team could finish 8-4 on the season (with wins over Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest) and go bowling for a third consecutive year.  But this will serve as yet another distraction that must be overcome (both during the season and on the recruiting trail).  Also, Franklin’s name has been mentioned in connection with the opening at Southern Cal, one of the top five jobs in America at a school with a bigger endowment than even Vanderbilt.

Whether Franklin or his staff had any involvement in this horrible incident or not, the mere possibility could cause Pat Haden and other ADs looking for a new coach to cross the name of Vandy’s man off their list.

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Report: Arkansas A.D. Jeff Long Expected On Football Playoff Committee

Jeff LongWhen the College Football Playoff starts in 2014, the selection committee will have 12-18 members.  One of them is expected to be Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long.

The Associated Press says Long along with fellow athletic directors Pat Haden of USC and Dan Radakovich of Clemson are expected to be named to the panel that’s also expected to include former players, coaches and administrators.  The AP says Long did not immediately respond to a request for a comment. has reported that West Virginia AD Oliver Luck and Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez are expected to a part of the committee.

The panel is expected to be completed by the end of the season.

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UT Releases Letter Of Allegations

The University of Tennessee released the notice of allegations sent by the NCAA this morning.  The key points:

What’s Good For Tennessee

* The UT baseball program was not cited for any rules violations. 

What’s Bad For Tennessee

* Allegations of impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes resulting from a cumulative total of 96 impermissible phone calls over a 24-month period.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that Bruce Pearl had impermissible contact with junior recruits at his home, had acted contrary to the principles of ethical conduct, had failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance, and had failed to monitor the activities regarding compliance of all assistant coaches.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that Pearl and an assistant coach had impermissible contact with a recruit at his high school.  (This had been rumored.)

* Allegations that three basketball assistants had failed to furnish full and complete information relevant to the investigation.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that a former assistant football coach had made impermissible contacts with recruits.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that Lane Kiffin’s football staff had made 16 impermissible phone contacts with recruits.  (This had been rumored.)

* Allegations that Kiffin failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failed to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several assistant coaches.  Also, allegations that Kiffin permitted a recruiting intern to make impermissible contact with a high school coaching staff during a visit.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that the University had failed to monitor the men’s basketball coaching staff’s telephone contacts with recruits and their relatives.  (This was expected.)

Initial Observations:

* The words “lack of institutional control” were not used in the release.  UT officials had to have sighed with relief on that one.

* UT was cited for failure to monitor Pearl’s phone calls, but not for failing to monitor Kiffin in general.  That is big huge plus for Tennessee.

* It seems that Pat Haden might have some decisions to make regarding Kiffin’s continued employment at Southern Cal.

* With Kiffin and his aides listed prominently in the notice of allegations, the appeals of UT and Kiffin (and his ex-aides) might be linked in terms of time frame.  If Kiffin and crew delay, conceivably, it could slow down the NCAA’s final verdict on UT.

* There were no unexpected allegations — at first view — levied toward Pearl.  Depending on the NCAA’s penalties, it looks as though Tennessee’s coach will survive.  Whether he should or not is a matter of great debate.  But if AD Mike Hamilton is to be believed, UT will keep Pearl on staff.  The fact that no new violations popped up makes that more likely.

* Following a 22-month investigation into three different Vol sports, the NCAA’s findings could have been much, much worse.  For instance, UT could have been hit with a failure to monitor charge in football as well as in basketball.  Instead, Kiffin takes that failure to monitor charge with him to Los Angeles. 

Tennessee will now have 90 days to go before the NCAA and debate these charges.  It’s believed they will head to Indianapolis in mid-June.  At that point, the NCAA will then decide on penalties.  And predicting penalties from the NCAA requires more tools than Doppler radar and StormTracker.  It’s a crapshoot as whether or not the NCAA will drop the hammer on Pearl or not. 

But, again, the letter of allegations could have been worse.  So it’s possible that UT escapes this entire episode with scholarship reductions in basketball, small scholarship reductions in football, recruiting restrictions in basketball and some sort of suspension for Pearl. 

From UT’s perspective, that’s survivable.  But is it just?  Let the debate begin.

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