The Sun-Sentinel was one of the first to report that former Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden may be the man to take the newly opened job with the University of Miami Hurricanes, which, as our Broward brothers in blogdom pointed out, seemed slightly embarrassing as Gruden quickly issued a statement that he was committed to his job at ESPN. Now The Sentinel is reporting that Gruden and Miami are still very much talking to each other. Though, other reports suggest that if they don't get Gruden the 'Canes would be happy to settle for Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen.
Citing "a UM source with knowledge of the situation" the Sentinel claims that discussion has continued between UM and Gruden:
According to the source, Gruden and Miami have yet to agree upon the length of a contract and there's concern on UM's part about Gruden, who has limited college experience, jumping to the NFL. Money doesn't appear to be an issue in negotiations, the source said.
Landing Gruden would be the second most exciting sports signing in the magic city this year since that LeBron guy came to town (and lets be honest, for a significant amount of us, even more so). He'd likely reignite interest, and importantly ticket sales, for the beleaguered program, and as we pointed out, a program with five national championship coached by a guy with a Super Bowl ring would be an unprecedented recruiting point.
As for the NFL worries, those are valid, but history shows that 'Canes coaches either go pro or get fired. Johson, Davis and Erickson all left for the NFL, and Schnellenberger thought he was headed to the USFL. As long as Gruden wins a championship like three of those guys did it's a risk we'll take.
Though if talks with Gruden falls through the 'Canes will then likely concentrate their efforts on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen according to numerous sources. Mullen has only been a head coach for two years but has begun to improved a program that was starting to rival Vanderbilt as the SEC's resident job squad. Though, does an 8-4 record with Mississippi State recruits in the SEC translate to near flawless seasons with Miami recruits in the ACC? If Gruden doesn't commit, we may find out.
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