Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds announced Tuesday his plans to step down as the Longhorns AD. The news of Dodds stepping down was first reported by Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com on September 13.
In his 32-year tenure, Dodds has helped build Texas into one of the top-revenue producing athletic departments in the country, according to USA Today. Dodds said his early announcement gives the University of Texas time to step in and find new leadership.
"I don't think there is a perfect time to [step down]," Dodds said Tuesday. "We could be 4-0 or we could be 0-4 in football and we would be sitting here doing this. It's about doing something at the right time."
What determines October 1 as the "right time"?
Is it a coincidence that Dodds' announcement of his plans to step down as Texas AD came two days after USC fired head football coach Lane Kiffin?
Did Derek Howard, the attorney of former Texas track and field coach Bev Kearney, planning to file Kearney's discrimination lawsuit the first week of October affect the announcement?
Or was Dodds' announcement the perfect exit strategy to put him ahead of the storm that could erupt in the Texas athletics department, depending on the outcome of the 108th Red River Rivalry on October 12?
It's easy to speculate about the timing of Dodds announcing his plans to step down as AD, but regardless of the reason, Dodds' announcement only adds fuel to the fire of those wondering what Mack Brown's future is at Texas.
Dodds has been Mack Brown's No. 1 fan since the day he hired him. Following the Longhorns 40-21 loss at BYU, Dodds told the Austin American Statesman that Brown still had his full support.
"Mack's fine," Dodds told the Statesman. "I know we didn't play well on Saturday. Mack will know if he should be coaching (at Texas) or shouldn't be."
Having his boss' support has extended Brown's career at Texas. When questions surfaced about Brown's job security after the combined 13-12 record in 2010 and 2011, Dodds and University of Texas president Bill Powers hushed the critics by extending Brown's contract.
"We want Mack Brown to be the University of Texas football coach for as long as he wants," Dodds and Powers said in a joint statement Jan. 24, 2012. "Consequently, we are recommending that the UT System Board of Regents extend Coach Brown's contract an additional four years, taking it to 2020."
The regents approved Brown's contract extension, but thinking Brown will stick around until 2020 is foolish.
Without Dodds in the picture, Mack Brown's future at Texas looks bleak. Powers said the nationwide search for Dodds' replacement begins Tuesday. In his Tuesday press conference, Dodds said the new AD needs to have a hand in any significant changes made in the athletic department, but would not comment on such changes.
Dodds' stepping down could answer a big question many Texas football fans have been asking since 2010: When will Brown walk away from coaching?
Questioning Mack Brown's future at Texas is no longer an "if," but rather a "when?"
If Texas suffers a fourth straight blow out by Oklahoma on October 12, one could only expect to see Mack Brown's name on the checklist of changes for the Longhorns new athletic director.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
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