Less than two hours after Texas Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson arrived in Richmond to meet with VCU Rams head coach Shaka Smart about the open position at Texas, Smart scheduled an 8 p.m. ET meeting with his players.
ESPN first reported the meeting and a local sports editor confirmed it shortly thereafter. However, the meeting didn't happen at the scheduled time, though the NBC sports director in Richmond still expects it to happen on Thursday evening. A later report around 8:45 p.m. CT indicated that the players were headed back to the Siegel Center for a 9:00 p.m. CT meeting.
The question now becomes whether Smart set the meeting to announce that he's leaving for Texas or staying in Richmond to continue coaching the Rams. Either way, Shaka Watch should end on Thursday evening.
With local reporters camped out at the Chesterfield airport, the world should know whether Smart boards the plane with Patterson to head back to Austin, which looks like it won't happen on Thursday evening, as the airport reportedly closed at 8:00 p..m CT. It ereopens at 7:30 a.m. CT on Friday. If does, the universal expectation is that Smart will accept the job, a logical expectation confirmed to Horns Digest by sources.
The delay in Patterson (and possibly Smart) flying to Austin wasn't entirely unexpected, as Patterson and senior associate athletic director both brought an overnight bag with them to Richmond.
Did Patterson close the deal in a critical moment of his tenure or will he come home empty-handed to face what would be significant criticism for his failure?