Texas A&M fired coach Mike Sherman on Thursday night after four seasons and a 25-25 record.
Sherman's status had been a subject of much discussion and disagreement in College Station this week after a disappointing 6-6 finish. A&M opened the season in the top 10 in the polls. A Monday meeting illuminated a split among A&M's administration about Sherman, with athletic director Bill Byrne in favor of keeping him but meeting resistance from others at the presidential and trustee level.
One source said the disagreement was deep enough that Byrne could wind up retiring or being fired.
Byrne, 66, has been a sitting athletic director for 27 consecutive years, at Oregon (1984-92), Nebraska (1992-2002) and Texas A&M.
In a statement, Byrne said a decision on an interim coach would be made "as soon as possible" and could come Friday.
[Related: Coaching carousel]
Texas A&M does not appear to be the most unified place on the cusp of its move to the SEC. Athletic department chief financial officer and senior associate athletic director Jeff Toole admitted this week that he anonymously ripped school president R. Bowen Loftin on a message board, calling him a "putz" and a "hopelessly underqualified puppet."
Houston coach Kevin Sumlin is considered a top A&M target. But Sumlin might be the single hottest commodity on the college football coaching market, and he will have other suitors.
The list of suitors starts with Arizona State. The Arizona Republic reported Thursday that the Sun Devils officially have offered their job to Sumlin, but multiple sources refuted that report to Yahoo! Sports.
"Totally false," one said.
Other schools that could be interested in talking to Sumlin, 47, who is 35-16 in four seasons at Houston, include North Carolina and UCLA.
Sumlin's undefeated Cougars play host to Southern Miss on Saturday in the Conference USA championship game, and are in the hunt for the first BCS bid in school history.
Other potential candidates at A&M include Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora, a College Station native.
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- Bill Byrne