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What termination of Texas AD Steve Patterson means for Charlie Strong

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A new athletic director shouldn't change the timetable for winning that was already in place.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

While the powers that be work on finalizing the termination of Texas Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson after less than two years on the job, let's make one thing clear -- this isn't about head football coach Charlie Strong.

New president Greg Fenves fired Patterson because Patterson alienated boosters, faculty, and season-ticket holders. His personal style simply rubbed people who mattered the wrong way.

And Strong and Patterson were hardly as close as former head football coach Mack Brown and former athletic director DeLoss Dodds -- the two don't have a relationship that stretched over most of two decades. The two didn't even communicate much, with Horns Digest reporting that Strong dealt solely with the associate athletic director, who would take any concerns to Patterson.

The other scenario that revealed just how distant Patterson was from Strong? The latter reportedly wasn't even consulted when Patterson decided to fire longtime SID John Bianco, who was close with Strong and well-respected by many in the media.

Now, the pressure on Strong did increase after the debacle against Notre Dame and subsequent removal of play caller Shawn Watson only one game into the season. There are now legitimate concerns about whether Strong will be able to rebuild the Texas program.

But for an athletic department that is facing rising costs, declining attendance at football games, and already paid buyouts to Mack Brown and Rick Barnes before having to do the same with Patterson, getting rid of Strong less than two years into his tenure doesn't make sense from a cost standpoint.

Then there's the quest for stability and the need to give Strong the full chance he deserves to turn around a football program that was in poor shape when Brown left it.

When taking all of those factors into consideration, the firing of Patterson shouldn't chance much for Strong and it certainly seems unlikely that the new athletic director would immediately remove Strong if Texas finishes the football season poorly.