Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds will step down by the end of the year, according to a report from Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com. The site reports Dodds will move into a consulting role with the university and assist the athletics department in a "significant half-time position."
The Texas athletics department has denied the report.
In his 32nd year at Texas, Dodds arrived in the fall of 1981 and has shepherded the Longhorns' athletics department to 14 national championships, including the school's first football national title in three and a half decades in 2005, and 108 conference championships. Equally notable, Dodds turned Texas into the most profitable athletics department in all of college sports. UT annually topped the NCAA's revenue charts, and led Forbes' most recent list of most valuable college football programs with a profit of $78 million in 2012.
Texas outperformed nearly every school in the country on the field and at the cash register through the end of the last decade. Dodds struck gold, literally and figuratively, with the successive hires of Mack Brown, Rick Barnes and Augie Garrido to lead the Longhorns' football, men's basketball and baseball programs. The trio combined to bring in a windfall of success, with 12 Big 12 titles, three national titles, four BCS bowl appearances, seven College World Series trips and a berth in the 2003 Final Four between them.
Additionally, Dodds took the unprecedented step of commissioning the Longhorn Network, the only school-specific ESPN-partnered television network in existence, and keeping Texas in the Big 12 following the departures of Texas A&M, Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska.
In recent years, though, each of Texas' Big Three programs has stagnated.
Both the men's basketball and baseball teams missed the NCAA Tournament in the 2012-13 athletic year and, most importantly, the Texas football program has posted a 23-17 record since the beginning of the 2010 season.
In the immediate sense for the football program, Dodds' departure would effectively signal the end of the Mack Brown era at Texas. Coupled with the aforementioned 23-17 record in the last three-plus seasons, the Longhorns are coming off a 40-21 loss to BYU in which Brown felt it necessary to fire defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. The 'Horns are in year three of what Brown has deemed a three-year rebuilding phase. "People have asked, 'Do you have what it takes to win all the games?'", Brown said on August 15, "We do."
Dodds has served as Brown's unwavering support within the athletics department through the football team's recent struggles. "Mack's fine," Dodds told the Austin American-Statesman on Wednesday. "I know we didn't play well Saturday. Mack will know if he should be coaching (at Texas) or shouldn't be. I know this is my responsibility, and I'm not shying away from it. The bottom line is I'm for the kids and the coaches."
The Texas athletics deparment has issued another denial.
We will keep you updated with any developments from Austin on The Scoop.