In a statement to Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston today, Arizona State Chief Operating Officer Steve Patterson said that the school was no longer pursuing current SMU football coach June Jones for its own football coaching position.
In response to Patterson’s announcement the agent of Jones, Leigh Steinberg, posted the following message on his official company blog:
“Just had one of the most bizarre endings to a set of productive discussions to bring a client to a new situation. Everything was set,few tweaks left,and the principal decision maker yanks the deal w no real explanation.”
In the aftermath of the announcements from both sides, multiple sources close to the negotiation told SbB today that the sticking point between the two parties was the $2 million buyout in Jones’ SMU contract.
(The judge also ruled that trying to sacrifice players in order to bring back Eric Dickerson is illegal.)
There was one teensy problem, though; some of the players argued that they hadn’t, in fact, broken any rules. Eventually, five off the nine dismissed players appealed SMU’s decision to release them from their scholarship. A judge finally ruled on the case Friday, and according to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, three of the five athletes have been placed back on athletic scholarship for 2009-2010. Awkwaaard.
The HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN reports that the Warriors have promoted assistant GregMcMackin to run the football program. The defensive coordinator was all set to follow June Jones to SMU, until he was given the chance to take the reins of the defending WAC champs.
It does seem a bit odd that a team known for their offensive output would nab a defensive guy. But then again, this school did let Jones slip away from paradise to the plains of Conference USA.
McMackin has his work cut out for him, such as building a coaching staff, hitting the recruiting trail - and finding a Hawaiian home for his daughter & grandchildren, who he plans to move out from Texas.
As for John L. losing out on the job, we imagine this was his reaction:
A close friend of Jones said that the Warriors coach resigned from his position on Saturday, apparently frustrated by “a lack of loyalty and commitment” from the school’s athletic department. June had sent out a letter to friends listing his reasons for leaving but also thanking them for his support.
KGMB-TV has also learned some details of a document sent by Jones to Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier.
According to the article, Jones “has put out feelers to gauge UCLA’s interest, and UCLA has reciprocated… although it is uncertain at what level.”Is Jones - who lead the Warriors to an undefeated season & a BCS appearance in the Sugar Bowl - really willing to give up living in paradise in order to share space in Pasadena with Pete Carroll?
In the meantime, Bruins AD Dan Guerrero is thumbing through his list of other candidates, including former USC & current Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow, former NFL coach Steve Mariucci, and Boise State coach Chris Petersen - even though Petersen has already stated, “I’m not interested in that place.”
Also still on the radar is ex-UCLA QB Rick Neuheisel, who’s obviously not doing much as Baltimore Ravens OC. While many ex-Bruin players favor Ricky, he does have some NCAA violation baggage to bring along from previous stints at Colorado & Washington.We hope the search isn’t distracting from the Bruins’ important preparations for the mighty Las Vegas Bowl.