Univ. of Texas President Bill Powers on Monday said that he "expects a new AD will be in place before the end of the football season," according to Pete Thamel of SI.com. The announcement that UT men's AD DeLoss Dodds would retire "makes it clear that Texas' athletic department is changing." So "what happened to the once-dominant Texas athletic program?" The new AD will "soon face decisions regarding the three most prominent remaining members of the athletic department" in football coach Mack Brown, men's basketball coach Rick Barnes and baseball coach Augie Garrido. It is "expected that the new athletic director will have more business experience than Dodds, who came from a traditional athletics background." The question is, "who will actually be making the decisions? Will it be Powers?" He has "spent the past two years locked in an ugly battle with governor Rick Perry." Or will it "be the Board of Regents?" Four recent Perry appointees have "attempted to oust Powers, giving him little leeway with the nine-person board." Or will it "be the new AD?" A high-ranking UT official said, "There's four regents out of nine who would fire Bill Powers tomorrow. There's a lot of distrust in all of this." Meanwhile, Powers "isn't anxious to run Brown off, largely because he likes Brown and is pleased with his clean NCAA record." UT is "still winning at the cash register," as the school takes in more than $100M from football annually, and its $163M athletic department revenue from '11-12 is the "highest of any school in the nation" (SI.com, 10/8).
UNLV President Neal Smatresk last night recommended that interim AD Tina Kunzer-Murphy's contract be extended through the end of '14, and added that while she will retain her interim title, there is "no doubt who is running the department," according to a front-page piece by Steve Carp of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. Kunzer-Murphy, who was Las Vegas Bowl Exec Dir from '00-12, took over for former AD Jim Livengood in July on an interim basis through the end of '13. Her extension will be "subject to approval" of the school's Board of Regents at its Oct. 18 meeting. Kunzer-Murphy said that she "gets to implement her vision for UNLV athletics, which is to give all her coaches what they need to succeed, bolster the academic support system, form partnerships in the community and be accountable to Smatresk, both fiscally and ethically." Carp reports UNLV coaches "fought for Kunzer-Murphy when they met with Smatresk last Friday" about the matter. He said that this meeting "helped his decision." Smatresk: "It wasn’t just that they liked Tina. It was the specifics. They said she had a plan for each of their teams and they were supportive of that. She has a vision for athletics at UNLV and the coaches shared that vision and so do I" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 10/9). In Las Vegas, Taylor Bern reports the athletic department's relationship with the Thomas & Mack Center, which is "often contentious, was also cited by both Smatresk and Kunzer-Murphy as a positive during her time as the interim director." The finalists for UNLV's AD role included former Florida State AD Randy Spetman, current Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock AD Chris Peterson and Washington State Senior Associate AD John Johnson. The school "did not pay for an outside consulting firm and instead used a local search committee" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 10/9).
Condoleezza Rice's reported spot on the College Football Playoff selection committee has generated some disparaging comments from people associated with the sport, including ESPN's David Pollack and former Auburn coach Pat Dye, because she did not play football. Dye said he wants people on the committee who have had their "hand in the dirt." ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "Not only do I have no problem with Condoleezza Rice being on this committee, I want to point out how myopic this position is." According to Dye, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "couldn't serve on this committee." Wilbon: "He doesn't want a woman on the committee. Let me say what he doesn't want." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said to Wilbon, "You never played college football. I never played college football. You never played college basketball. I never played college basketball. But we wrote about it 40 years. You can learn it. ... Sportswriters elect people to the Hall of Fame in baseball and football. They didn't play" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/8). ESPN's Max Kellerman said, "I'm not dismissing that point of view, you certainly enrich your knowledge with experience. But does that mean it's impossible to make decisions unless you played the game?" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 10/8). Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin said, "It’s Pat Dye trying to remain relevant. ... You don’t need to know what it feels like to get hit with a helmet on to understand the game in a very basic sense" ("Rome," CBSSN, 10/8).
SMART PEOPLE WANTED: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, "What the college football system needs is smart people. What the BCS has done for years has been dumb. This is smart. She is smart. ... I bet she'll be the most educated person in that room and that's what college football needs." Denver Post columnist Woody Paige noted Rice is the daughter of a high school football coach and said, "Her aspiration in life was to become commissioner of the NFL. She's paid attention to it." Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw: "Let me see if I have this straight -- she was qualified to be Secretary of State, she's not qualified to look at stats or tapes and tell if an Oklahoma or an Ohio State is the fourth-best team in the country?" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/8). SI's Lee Jenkins said he wonders why Rice is "choosing this for her next act." Jenkins: "I know she’s a professor at Stanford. It seems like she could be doing something more important than deciding whether Georgia gets the three or the four seed. But if this is really the way she wants to head with the next phase of her career or her life, I think the committee should be happy to have her given the diverse background she represents” ("Rome," CBSSN, 10/8).