Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds will step down, according to a story in the Austin American-Statesman.
Dodds, 76, has been Texas’ athletic director for the past 32 years, but will leave the position on Aug. 31, 2014. He will stay on as a consultant through 2015.
Dodds and Texas will make an official announcement Tuesday.
This more or less confirms a report from Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com earlier this month, who cited sources saying Dodds would step down at the end of the year. Texas vehemently denied the report at the time.
Dodds helped Build Texas to be the standard of collegiate athletic departments. With a budget of more than $163 million, Texas has some of the nicest facilities in the entire country. The school has a $300 million partnership with ESPN to produce the Longhorn Network. And boasts two national titles in football behind coach Mack Brown.
But what’s going to happen to Brown when Dodds leaves?
There’s already strong sentiment in Austin that Brown has overstayed his welcome and needs to be replaced. Dodds has been Brown’s biggest fan and has said on multiple occasions that the school has no plans to fire its football coach.
Still, if Texas doesn’t win the Big 12 – and ultimately its BCS bowl game – Dodds could have an interesting decision to make. The firing would have to occur at the end of the season in order to secure one of the top coaching candidates. Does he want firing his good friend to be one of the final things he does with his legacy?
Many Texas fans would applaud the move, especially if it was warranted, and it might be easier on Brown to have a friend fire him rather than the new AD in 2014.
But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.
Texas is 1-0 in conference play and there’s still a lot of season ahead. Unless Texas takes a nosedive in the next few weeks, it’s unlikely Dodds would have to make a decision on Brown’s future until the end of the year. But, with USC, another prominent program, looking for a head coach and courting the best talent out there, Dodds will have to be decisive if he wants to compete.