A decision on Mack Brown’s future as Texas’ head football coach should be made this week, but it’s clear that the situation is fluid, a high-ranking source told the American-Statesman on Sunday.
And Brown’s attorney and close friend, Texas benefactor Joe Jamail, said the decision could come even later than this week.
“He has not made any decision, and I talked to him at length (Saturday) after the game,” Jamail told the American-Statesman on Sunday night from Beaumont, where he was preparing for a trial that begins Monday. “He may make one in the next couple of weeks.”
Asked if Brown has discussed his job status with new Athletic Director Steve Patterson and school President Bill Powers, Jamail said, “I can’t answer that for you.”
Texas administrators planned to visit with Brown over the next two days during the National Football Foundation festivities in New York. Jamail confirmed that Brown left Austin on Sunday for New York, where he will participate in several events.
Former Longhorns defensive back Jerry Gray is being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and will be honored at Monday’s banquet, a black-tie affair attended by many college football power brokers.
Brown has said previously that he would sit down with Patterson after the regular season and discuss his future. Neither Patterson nor Powers could be reached Sunday for comment. Several school officials, however, have said the decision to stay or go would be solely up to Brown.
“I think a decision comes down this week,” said a well-placed source familiar with Brown’s situation.
Several UT officials have said privately that it’s doubtful Patterson would dismiss Brown as his first agenda item. Powers has been cautious in his public support of Brown. “He’s our coach,” Powers has said.
In an interview with the American-Statesman last Thursday, Powers tried to extinguish rumors that Texas is set to hire Alabama coach Nick Saban as Brown’s replacement.
Texas went into its regular-season finale Saturday with a chance to win the Big 12 championship. The Longhorns lost 30-10 and missed out on the chance to play in the Fiesta Bowl.
On Sunday, Texas (8-4) accepted an invitation to the Alamo Bowl to play Oregon (10-2).
Several Longhorns said after Saturday’s loss that they were solidly behind Brown. The coach never spoke about his job situation with the players leading up to the Baylor game.
“Coach Brown wanted it for us, more than anything,” senior left guard Trey Hopkins said. “He was never concerned about himself when he spoke to us. It was all about for us and the senior class.”
Asked how the team would react if Brown left, receiver Jaxon Shipley said, “We’d be devastated, but that’s not something that we’re worried about because we definitely believe 100 percent that he’s going to be here.”
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with all that stuff,” said junior defensive end Cedric Reed, who also is weighing whether to leave early for the NFL draft. “But I know the team is 100 percent behind him.”