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  1. I’m joined by good friend David Arnold of Wolverine Sports Radio. We discuss 2017 quarterback recruit Sam Ehlinger committing to the Longhorns, as well as whether or not Texas will make the switch from Nike to Under Armour. Plus, the latest on the NCAA's denial of DuVonta Lampkin's NLI appeal.
  2. STEVE PATTERSON'S EMAIL ON THE DKR SOUTH ENDZONE EXPANSION Many of you have been asking about the expansion of the south endzone. Below is a statement relased by Texas AD Steve Patterson: As we continue to plan for the future of UT Athletics and work to provide a superior gameday experience for all our fans and stakeholders, we have begun the initial stage of studying a potential stadium project to complete the south end of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The project is conceptual at this point. Any further planning will depend on a variety of factors to be studied over the next several months. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been retained to assist UT Athletics in evaluating elements of the potential project, including the addition of new premium seating and additional club areas. As part of their research, PwC will be engaging with Longhorn Foundation members through a survey and interview process to collect input related to potential new seating options and naming rights opportunities for Texas Football. We genuinely appreciate the many ways in which you support UT Athletics. Thank you for your participation during this process. Hook 'em, Horns! Steve Patterson Men's Athletics Director COACHES ON THE MOVE Former defensive back coach Duane Akina has agreed in terms with Stanford and will be joining David Shaw's staff in Palo Alto. That leaves Running Backs Coach Larry Porter and Wide Receivers Coach Darrell Wyatt as the only two coaches that have not found a landing spot as of now. Expect them to be picked up somewhere sooner rather than later... CROSSFIRE Q & A Q) Do we get Turner? A) If I was a betting man, I would bet on Texas. Texas gets the last visit so, that bodes well for us. Q) Is this Augie's last year? A) It has been discussed but, I don’t think Augie has made a final decision. Q) What the devil is going on a Texas A&M with all the arrest? A) When boosters are running the program and not the head coach, there is little or not accountability. Q) How do you think the Texas BB Team is going to do in the Big 12 Tourney and the Nat playoffs (MARCH MADNESS) A) Don’t get me to lying. I can no longer predict which Texas team is going to show? Q) Why can't we get the real time broadcast of the games (Basketball/baseball/football) while in the stadiums, with no time delay? Seems like we have grown up with watching sports on TV and it seem that it would add to the fun and knowledge of what is going on in the game. A) Interesting question and one I don’t have an answer for. Let me see what I can find out and I will share in next week's Crossfire. Q) Still most curious about attrition. How many? And who are the probables? A) I placed the over under at 8 but, could me more when the spring football wraps up. Some kids have been notified that their services will not be needed for spring practices so; we should start hearing a few names once spring football starts. Some other kids that are on the bubble will be allowed to participate in spring ball and will announce their intentions to transfer after the orange & white game. It is better that I don’t speculate on the names. Q) Since we are into a somewhat quiet period, I think it would be interesting to do a Crossfire conversation with a couple of high school coaches to hear what they think of the program, their comments on who they thought would get the UT job and what they think of Coach Strong so far (anonymously, of course). A) Alright, let me see if I can get Coach Todd Dodge of Marble Falls and another former Texas player that is now coaching HS ball. Q) One thing I am wondering is what the coaches are doing on a daily basis now. A) Preparing for the spring practices. Q) What gets the attention of the position coaches and the head coach after signing day and before spring practice? A) Laying the ground work for the next recruiting class and preparing for the junior days. Q) Who is the favorite to win the Big 12 next year and why? Who is the dark horse? Who will win "Coach of the year"? A) At this time I’m going to say that OU, Baylor and Texas all have a shot at the Big12 title next year. A) My dark horse would be any team Bill Snyder coaches so, that would be KSU. A) Charlie Strong or Kliff Kingsbury. Q) What do you make of William Wilkerson's report on the tops athletes in the state and how they felt about Texas this year? A) It is no secret that Texas is playing catch up. Let Charlie get a season under his belt and I beat Texas will once again be the choice program in the state. Q) Thoughts on Heard going to spend some time this spring break with the QB guru George Whitfield ? A) It tells me that Heard is serious about honing his craft. It is refreshing to see a kid forgo the spring break parties his senior year to prepare himself for the next level. Q) Following "Hell Week", which players have shown the most improvement and which players stood out to the coaches/staff? A) Both QB’s Ash & Swoopes made some noise. It’s too bad Leroy Scott broke team rules because he was really impressing the coaching staff. All the running backs, Brown, Bergeron, Gray and Johnson have been stellar in the offseason. Texas is stacked at the running back position. Another area of team strength is going to be the defensive line. Brown & Reed have taken on a leadership and the young pups like S. Davis & B. Cottrell should give Texas some depth we have not had recently. Q) We have "Cameron Crazies" and "Erwin Lazies"! What are the thoughts for the new/perspective basketball arena as to a much greater home court advantage and moving the "blue hairs" (I am one.) up and the students’ courtside (1st 10 rows) around the arena? A) I’m hearing the arena will be more intimate as far as the seating goes so, that alone should benefit for home games. Moving the “blue hairs” is going to tricky. Keep in mind these “blue hairs” is where the majority of the season tickets are sold. Q) What are your predictions for our defense this fall? YPG, PPG, & ranking in the Big 12 & nationally? A) Good Gravy I was hoping to get to see them perform this spring before I was asked this question. I will go out on a limb and predict that Texas will have the top ranked defense in the B12 this year. Q) Who would be possible candidates to replace Augie if he was to not return next season? A) Those close to the program believe Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson is going to inherit the job once Augie decides to step down. Q) Wayne Graham, Rice, has wanted the UT job since he was the HC at San Jacinto JC. He was really miffed when the UT job was given to Augie because Graham campaigned hard for it. He is an excellent BB coach and has won where ever he has been - however, he must be getting close to 75 by now. His chances at UT are done. A) Coach Graham would have been an excellent selection. At 75, you got to believe that Coach Graham will retire at Rice. Q) Is Geoff Ketchum Mr. Taylor Duck? A) No comment. Mr. Taylor Duck has been banned on HornSports. Q) You have always had quite the following on Orangebloods, why don’t you post there anymore? A) I have been banned on Orangebloods. Q) Who are your favorite Longhorn writers/reporters? A) Chip Brown, Sean Adams, Scipio and Jesus Shuttlesworth are always a great read. Honorable mentions would go to Eric Nahlin, Jason Suchomel and Jeff Howe when it comes to recruiting news and updates. Q) Will the media be allowed to attend and report on spring football? A) Emails have been sent to the parents of the football team that practices will be closed so, I doubt they are going to let the media attend. Friends of Bevo will still be able to attend some practices so; Hornsports should receive some informative reports. Q) Will Charlie Strong have a weekly show on LHN like Mack did? Will LHN do similar programming now that Mack is gone? A) Yes he will. As a matter of fact, I can see Charlie Strong and Steve Patterson taking the LHN to the next level. Q) Why is it taking till the middle of the summer to get The Longhorn Network on Dish when all they need to do is flip a switch? A) I don’t think all the particulars on how they are going to package the LHN have been decided at Dish? Q) Who are the cant miss prospects in the 2015 class? A) Tagging anyone as a can’t miss is dangerous these days. You really know how the kids are going to respond once they get on campus. Presently Texas does not have a 2015 commit that I would feel comfortable labeling as a cant’ miss prospect. Q) Will the quarterback position battle be an open one or is there already a favorite? A) The whole team has bought into that every position is open for battle. David Ash is the odds on in favorite but, every second teamer is just one play away from being the starter. I believe our QB depth chart will look like this: Ash, Wittek, Swoopes & Heard. Granted that Wittek ends up at Texas. Q) How is Gray progressing from his achilles injury? A) Johnathan is ahead of schedule. Texas is loaded at RB so, there is absolutely no reason to rush him back. Selfishly I hope he redshirts so, we can have him on campus a few more years. Q) First, just a suggestion: It is not a good experience when we respond to your question request an get no-response. My thoughts if you could list the question with a simple response: we acknowledge your question but cannot answer at this time because..... We will or won't keep it on file. Of the 31 players who sustained an Achilles tendon rupture, 21 (64%) returned to play in the NFL at an average of 11 months after injury. In the three seasons following their return, those 21 players saw significant decreases in games played and power ratings compared to the three seasons preceding the injury. A) Dually noted and I’m sorry that happened. Q) Do we know of any quality RBs that have rehabed a torn Achilles and returned to dominance? I can't think of any off hand, only those with ACLs. Mirroring the above question regarding J Gray. A) Of the 31 NFL players who sustained an Achilles tendon rupture, 21 (64%) returned to play in the NFL at an average of 11 months after injury. In the three seasons following their return, those 21 players saw significant decreases in games played and power ratings compared to the three seasons preceding the injury. None of these players were running backs. Furthermore, in the reviewed 21 NFL skill players who returned to play, there were significant decreases in games played per season (11.67 games per year pre-injury versus 6.17 games per year post injury) when averaged over the three seasons before the injury and the three seasons after the injury.3 There were also decreases averaging nearly 50% in power ratings of the returning players for the three seasons after the injury compared to the three seasons before the injury. These data indicate that even in players able to return to their former level of play, the quality of play may suffer permanently. Q) 1. ok darryl, let's be frank here... am i the only one that seems to think that there is a small but yet very ominous cloud, suddenly hanging over the "erwin center"? i mean think about it... we all certainly would want to send coach barnes as many accolades as possible, as per this momentous season... but let's face it, this season is really no better than the last. (not really). therefore, how dare the "myles turner" camp present a subtle threat (please make certain that "barnes" is back next season or else) that shall in the very least... cause a bit of consternation amongst us fans. soooooo, my question is... is it an absolute guarantee that "myles turner" shall grace the "40 acres" upon next season? aaaaaaand, should he decide to grace the illustrious confines of lawrence kansas... what on earth shall we do as per the "big Vii" coach of the year "rick barnes"... head off into another season upon a wing and a prayer? will "patterson" really stand for such "in your face ambiguity" in regards to the current status as per his head basketball coach? an "ominous cloud" indeed! A) Monarch, my man. I spell my name the same way Darrell Royal spelled his. I don’t think Turner camp was threatening us. The Turners have every right in seeking the stability of the coaching staff at the schools they are considering. Keep in mind that basketball coaches actually coach in practice opposed to head football coaches that oversee practices. Barnes has more one on one interaction with his players in one week than Coach Brown had all year. No matter how you look at Barnes, you can’t release a coach that won the Coach of the Year award in his conference. Barnes was put on notice before the season started and in my opinion, responded accordingly. Q) Any knowledge on how the SEC cheats in the large cash deals? A) Read up on how Auburn pulled it off with Cam Newton or how LSU pulled it off with Claiborne. Q) What did Leroy Scott do? A) Broke team rule #420. Q) And what are his chances to stay on the team? A) I’m not sure but, the kid had an outstanding offseason. Q) What is Augie doing to improve the run production? Totally impressed with the fielding and pitching. A) I don’t think it is so much of what Augie is doing but, the kids are responding in close games a lot better than they did last year. Our pitching has been NAILS. Q) True or False: Perry's pain I'm the ass regent Wallace Hall's kid rejected by UT admissions? A) True and the kid had a very decent private school transcript. The kid will probably end up at Harvard. Q) What will our base defensive alignment b... 4-3, 5-0 or 3-4? A) From what I have been told, the staff is going to look at the 4-3 & 3-3 and see what best fits the personnel. I think we will see plenty of both. CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO Me: How are you? FOB: Been busy but, all is well. Me: Any thoughts on “Hell Week”? FOB: Boy they pushed the hell out of those kids and credit the kids for responding the way they did. Me: So, no one threw the towel in? FOB: You had some kids that did not finish drills but, no one threw a tantrum and walked off. Me: I told our members that the over under on the attrition was around eight. Do you think that is correct? FOB: I would say that is in the ball park. Like I mentioned before, the staff has meet with those they don’t think they have a chance to see the field and some of those kids responded well in the workouts. Me: So are you saying that some of those kids are going to be allowed to stay on the team? FOB: There is that possibility that some of the kids might have reserved the right to retain their scholarship but, they may become frustrated with the lack of reps they receive in spring ball. Although this staff challenged the team in a manner they have never been challenged before, they are pleased with the effort they received. Me: Are they going to challenge them in spring practices too? FOB: Since we are installing a new offense & defense, the team is going be challenged in the classroom so, they can maximize the practice time on the field. In other words, the staff is going to be able to recognize those that are not retaining the playbook very quickly and their reps will be limited until they get it down. Me: Is the staff excited about the talent at their disposal? FOB: Darrell, they are. They really believe they will compete in every game they play and as I have said before, this staff is not conceding s%^t. Me: Is this going to be a very physical spring? FOB: It certainly is. The staff is well aware of the tackling issues this team has had and this one area the coaches believe is going to improve dramatically. Me: Switching topics on you. What do you think about Rick bringing home the B12 coach of the year award? FOB: As you know, before this season Rick had a big ole bulls- eye on his back but, Rick delivered this year. Rick deserved the award. I just hope Rick & can get this team out of the first or second round this year. The talent is there. Hopefully we will get some good match ups. Me: I’m hearing from some very good sources that Myles Turner is a lock for Texas? FOB: Texas is sitting in the catbirds seat right now. Let’s hope we don’t screw this one up like we did with Julius Randle. Me: What seed do you think we land? FOB: 5th thru 7th seed. I tell you what; we have the best chance to win the B12 tourney than we have in a very long time. Me: I feel the same way since Kansas’ big man is out for two weeks. FOB: That can’t hurt but, remember Ridley ate his lunch in Austin. Me: Everyone keeps asking me if this is Augie’s last year? FOB: I get that question all the time too. I’m being told that a decision has not been made one way or the other. If Augie does well this year, it will be his choice. The thing about Augie is he will be ready to step down if he can’t deliver some type of hardware this year. It’s not going to be like the Mack Brown saga where we have to force him into retirement. Me: Any news on Bev Kearney? FOB: She does not have a prayer. There will be no settlement. Me: That’s all I got now. I am going to see you at the spring game. FOB: Yes, I will stop by your tailgate and say hello but, I can’t stay long. Me: That’s ok, I will holler at you next week. Thanks again for the time. FOB: My pleasure Darrell.
  3. After Crossfire was posted earlier today I had a conversation with one of my sources. Instead of waiting to post the information in next Wednesday’s edition of Crossfire, I thought I would post it in a follow-up version of the Crossfire Report. Hope you guys find as much value in this as I did.... On the potential hiring of Nick Saban, my source said that several board members/ Big Money guys did let Powers know that no matter the cost, if the money becomes a problem WITHIN the Athletic Department, they would find a way to “get it done” outside of the Department. What this tells me is that by Powers having this sort of assurance in his back pocket, we're just waiting on Brown to make the announcement at this point. I also asked him if he had heard the rumors regarding Hicks and Hall going it alone in approaching Sexton. He laughed and said while it may not have been Powers’ idea, he (Powers) HAD to know about it in advance. If Hicks and Hall did this without the knowledge of Powers, they risked getting the dreaded call from Jamail asking what day would be good for them to give their depositions. Hall may be that stupid but the Hicks brothers aren't. A couple of other things that bode well for UT.... My source talked to a buddy that got to know Steve (Patterson) really well when they were in Law School together. They also played on the same intramural basketball team and usually had the same classes together. My source said that Steve eats, drinks and sleeps basketball. It's his real passion. To which end it is believed that Steve will do something soon to jump-start the basketball program. He will want to do it for himself but he also wants UT at the top of all the polls so he doesn't have to take crap from all his former cronies in the NBA. What's funny is Barnes would be the type person and coach Steve would go out and get but it is agreed that Steve will go in another direction sooner rather than later just to shake things up. A new direction is imperative. My source really believes Patterson will go after a bigger splash hire in Basketball than even football. No, I have no idea that would be other than John Wooden himself. My source also went on to say that he believes Steve will want to consolidate the AD jobs of men's and women's sports. Again, sooner rather than later. I asked him how he would know that and he said it was part of the interview. Maybe that had something small to do with him getting the job over Luck. It is exciting to think Texas could wrestle control of the conference from Kansas. --McPhaul
  4. Well this past week has been a quiet one news-wise BUT don't confuse what is seen by the eye as to what is really going on underneath the surface- as the saying goes "still waters run deep!" A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that information was going to get scarcer to come by going forward and that in fact has been the case. Why? We'll discuss that in week's edition of Crossfire as well as information that had already been shared as it pertains to the hiring of Steve Patterson and validate some of the information that has been already discussed as it pertains to his hiring. We will also talk in more detail about Terry Saban and her house hunting in Austin. Is it true that Saban upset with the Hicks boys? What does this mean for Nick Saban and his chances of coaching at the 40 Acres next season? We will answer all of that and more in this weeks' "Crossfire." First, I spoke to my contacts and shared information back and forth over the past few days and as I mentioned in the outset- information is tougher to come by these days. Why is that? Well first of all, things have changed a bit with the hiring of Steve Patterson as AD. One of the things that was shared with me by one of my contacts pertains to keeping things on the "DL". Saban was/is furious about these types of distractions taking place. Noise is clutter and Saban does not like clutter. He detests it! Saban's comment was, "Do these guys even KNOW HOW to go about hiring a Coach?" He was PISSED! Now before anyone panics reading this and says McPhaul is saying Saban aint coming to Austin let me be clear: I AM NOT SAYING THAT! I will get to predictions later I promise! What I AM saying is expect all negotiations to go into "double-secret probation" mode going forward with Patterson at the helm. There's a reason Steve Patterson is respected by agents the way he is. He is a professional and he truly DOESN'T do Clown Shows. Things will be done in a professional, confidential manner going forward with Sexton/Saban. During my previous "Crossfire" I posted that I had been told that there were a few AD's that Saban would prefer working with as opposed to others. Patterson, Haden (USC), Castilogne, Long (Arkansas), & Tanner (South Carolina's) were all included on the list that Saban would prefer working with. Glaringly missing on that list was Oliver Luck- but why? Keep in mind, Luck was the "odds-on" favorite of the Bellmont establishment. Powers felt comfortable with him as Deloss' replacement. Dodds felt comfortable with him as his replacement. We've been told that Mack was comfortable with Luck as the new AD. So what gives? Well perhaps THAT is the reason at the end of the day Saban didn't include Luck on that list? Perhaps he wanted someone OUTSIDE of the establishment as the new AD? Perhaps he wanted someone that he could go into a relationship with carte blanche from the outset as opposed to an AD that has loyalties with the previous establishment. Keep in mind, Saban has a certain way of doing things and doesn't deviate from that plan. If Luck is AD then Saban's approach to building a program might be compromised and prevent Saban from coming to UT altogether. In contrast, Patterson has been a President at a Professional Sports Program before. Patterson has been hired and Patterson has been fired. That being said, Patterson is the ONLY candidate that has faced all of the adversity of building a franchise/program from the bottom-up with professional organizations AND a Collegiate Athletic Program None of the other candidates can say this. Debate this if you want but this is what was shared with me. Furthermore with Patterson as AD, it is expected to be less bureaucratic and more "results oriented" than where we are today. I was told by several of my contacts to a person that one of the things that differentiated Patterson from Luck was the way Patterson talked about the ENTIRE Athletic Department AS A WHOLE and Luck seemed to be more focused on the Football Program throughout the interview process. Being an Athletic Department with more than 1 program limping along right now, that is probably a HUGE selling point to the AD Selection Committee- it would be to me and it was to my contacts! Another thing to consider is there are currently 500 student athletes and 400 folks in the Athletic Department to support each of those student athletes. With that kind of student athlete/Athletic Department support personnel you are talking about a bureaucratic monster that needs to be DRAMATICALLY reshaped and resized altogether! Hell, we are damned-near looking today at our Athletic Department having a ratio of damned near 1 administrator for every student athlete. As my contact said, "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT?" You would expect if we had an administrator for every student athlete that we would be winning National Championships in EVERY sport we participated in wouldn't you? You sure wouldn't expect that the University of Texas have a JUCO transfer football player not knowing whether or not they are academically qualified to practice/play until the 3rd week of Fall Camp! Keep in mind these 400 bureaucrats loyalties are going to lie with the powers that be that put them into power- namely Deloss Dodds. The bottom line is that that type of model for our Athletic Department cannot sustain itself and remain successful- there is just too much bureaucratic red-tape to hide behind. Now on to the reason you're REALLY here- what is going on with Saban coming to Texas. Cut to the chase McPhaul! Why is it so quiet on the Saban front? The Hicks' stuff you're referencing concerns us. Well, in the past I have been more conservative than Jesus and others coming in at 60%. Today that number changes. For the worse? For the better? What gives? From what I hearing, this quiet that we are witnessing means the relationship is very serious. Here is the rub on the Saban front. As I mentioned from the outset, Nick Saban is extremely disappointed in our inability to keep things quiet (Hicks brothers). However Saban is also concerned about our ability to effectively manage the Brown resignation in the time period we had led Sexton/Saban to believe we would receive Mack's resignation by. In addition, Brown still has the ability to make this an ugly situation with each victory with a Big 12 Championship and BCS Bowl all still a possibility. Saban does not want to appear as the coach that was hired at the expense of forcing the removal of Mack Brown when in reality THAT IS THE CASE! As things stand today, you are hearing it hear first: AS THINGS STAND TODAY, Nick Saban will be the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. There! I said it! It's out of the bag! Now the fallout from Mack's perspective: from an image standpoint, Mack is extremely upset that his departure from Texas will look like he has been forced out. That is why his camp has continuously puts out the message that Mack will leave on his own terms when in reality they know it is the end for Mack Brown Texas Football. Understandably so, the members of the Selection Committee are squirming in their collective seats! You could not get anyone one of them to admit in public that they had wished Texas had already lost a game or two more but. Nevertheless, there is no denying that with each win, Mack Brown delays the deals they are trying to cement in bringing Saban to Austin. Consequently everyone involved from both sides wants the talks about Saban squelched. The good news is Mack has indeed confided to confidants that he is retiring at the end of the year (would match perfectly with his more relaxed demeanor on the sideline and in post-game interviews). Now for some additional information, I just finalized a conversation with my friend on the Board of Regents and he made an interesting comment. My friend told me that "Hicks absolutely had the blessing of Powers to approach Saban. Hicks got Hall involved for reasons he can't understand. Then he dropped the bombshell that there is money available from the people that you would expect to go and get Saban no matter what the cost." My contact however believes that the money will be so large that eventually Powers himself will be the person to push back on the finances of the deal. Right now, we're hearing the deal is $8.4M/yr. Our friend Santa Gertrudis leaked yesterday that Terry Saban had looked at a friend of his home on her last trip to Austin. To reiterate, the price on the home in question was $6.5M, 8,000 sq. ft home. On a different front, Paul Finebaum had been stating that the home in question was being looked at as a home for one of the Sabans' children (age 26 & 21). Santa somewhat debunked the assumption by Paul Finebaum that the house was a purchase for one one of the kids (again, who purchases a 8,000 sq. ft home for $6.5M for their 20 something year old kids as a starter home?). Well what I have learned is that Nick & Terry Saban have put a contract on a house in Austin that will close in late January. The contract would not be publicly available information and the purchaser was an LLC that has not been used before. I heard this prior to what was posted on IT last night, but that information is consistent with what I've been told. Finally, I have been catching some heat for my 60% belief that Saban will be the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. My goal is to ALWAYS be truthful to our members and if I post something then it is genuine and NOT pre-fabricated for effect! Having said that, after what I have heard over the past few days I am ready to bump that percentage AS OF RIGHT NOW to 100%! That's right. I said it! 100%. Things change but AT THIS MOMENT UNLESS THINGS CHANGE I am saying it is a 100% chance Nick Saban is the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. How's that for a "Crossfire?" Anyway, that's all I've got for now- and that should be enough. Until next week, "Hook em Horns and BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THE COWPOKES!" --McPhaul

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