Orangebloods' Chip Brown first reported it September 13: longtime University of Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds was planning to step down. The school denied it, but Dodds' own comments, both before and after the report, were not very convincing (I said the rumor was "100 percent believable" ten days ago, and that was not a bold opinion).
Now comes a report from the columnist who probably has the greatest access to UT's AD: Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman. On September 11, Bohls wrote that Dodds "has no plans to leave his job and hasn't even thought about it." But Monday that all changed, in a story co-written by Statesman higher education reporter Ralph K.M. Haurwitz:
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds will announce Tuesday afternoon that he will step down next August after 32 years in the position, three well-connected sources told the American-Statesman on Monday.
Dodds, 76, will announce his retirement after vigorously denying a report earlier this month that he would leave his job before the end of this year. Dodds will stay on through Aug. 31, 2014, and will remain on as a consultant through 2015. Dodds could not be reached for comment. He will receive a $1 million annuity in August.
"He's going to announce it tomorrow," one of the well-placed sources said. "They were going to do it today but decided to wait because they didn't want to detract from the passing of (legendary former Longhorn quarterback) James Street."
Bohls and Haurwitz wrote that Dodds, who will remain under contract to UT as a consultant, intends to announce his last day as August 31, 2014, but that UT hoped to bring on his successor by December. Chip Brown's latest report says it's a "fluid situation," and that Dodds will only serve until a new AD is hired.
For all the current dysfunction around UT athletics—from the struggles of the football and basketball teams to the Bev Kearney situation—Dodds was certainly a groundbreaking and great AD. He turned Texas into the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees of collegiate sports and, with Mack Brown, gave UT its first football championship in more than thirty years. Even the much-maligned Longhorn Network deal will almost certainly turn out to be a long-term plus.
Dodds' decision to resign on more or less his own terms, even under pressure, actually feels like something of a power move: given the lengthy timetable, and his continued role as a consultant, he'll likely have a lot of input into UT president William Powers Jr.'s search for a successor.
So who might that be? Here's ten names to think about: