What's holding up Charlie Strong's hire at Texas?

Andy Lyons

Will Saturday end with the Longhorns having their new head coach?

An early morning meeting between Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong and his staff resulted in Strong telling his assistants that he has yet to make a decision about accepting the position as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns, not Strong announcing his intentions to leave, as expected.

So what's the hold up?

Sports Illustrated is also reporting that the terms of Strong's significant buyout may be causing a problem -- the number is more than $4.3 million. Athletic director Steve Patterson has dealt with such issues before, as they were part of the reason that June Jones didn't get hired at Arizona State while Patterson was COO.

With the full coffers at Texas, paying the significant tax assistance related to the buyout shouldn't be a problem that keeps the Longhorns from landing Strong.

Another issue, according to the Austin American-Statesman, could be the show-cause penalty handed down by the NCAA against defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, who joined Strong at Louisville in 2010. Hurtt was involved in the Nevin Shapiro scandal while at Miami and is known as an excellent recruiter.

However, it's hard to imagine that a position coach could hold up Strong's move to Texas. Perhaps it would make sense if it was a coordinator, but there are surely other defensive line coaches who could be effective for Strong at Texas.

And a third thing -- Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich is on vacation in Colorado, reports the Statesman, and could not return immediately to speak with Strong.

So is Strong really wavering and unsure about whether or not he wants to take the job or just waiting for Jurich to return and to work out the buyout on his contract?

Of course, those things aren't mutually exclusive, either, so it could certainly be a combination of those factors.

Wherever the truth lies, it should make for an interesting day on Saturday.

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